The CBI on Thursday registered a case and took over the probe into the ‘encounter’ death of businessman Manoj Vashisht, who died during a scuffle with the Delhi Police Special Cell at a restaurant in May this year. The Ministry of Home Affairs had handed over the investigation to the CBI a few days earlier.
The CBI registered a case under IPC sections of obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, attempted murder, as well as sections of the Arms Act.
Vashisht — wanted in several cases of fraud and other crimes — died after a bullet him him during an alleged exchange of fire with an eight member team of the Special Cell at Sagar Ratna restaurant in Rajendra Nagar on May 16. His family had alleged that it was a fake encounter, and had demanded a CBI probe. Vashisht’s family had also met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking transfer of the probe to the CBI.
CCTV footage of the encounter released by police shows two officers — Inspector Dharmendra Kumar and Constable Jitendra — getting into a scuffle with Vashisht, before he slumps after being shot. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.
The Special Cell had claimed that in retaliation to shots fired by Vashisht, a policeman had fired to incapacitate him, leading to his death.
While the Delhi Police had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the circumstances leading to Vashisht’s death, his wife Priyanka had said that she did not trust the SIT as some of its officers were earlier posted with the Special Cell. A separate vigilance inquiry was also initiated by the Delhi Police.
The SIT — in a status report submitted to the Delhi High Court — claimed that the bullet which hit Vashisht had come from his own gun.