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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Gangster Ankit Gujjar’s death: Jail doctor’s appointment cancelled, CBI probing money trail

The 29-year-old gangster was found dead inside Tihar in August, with his family alleging he was murdered by jail officials for refusing to pay them protection money.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 28, 2021 6:20:02 pm
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Delhi’s Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the appointment of the jail doctor – a junior resident on contract – who examined gangster Ankit Gujjar prior to his death in prison has been cancelled after it was found during enquiry that he had been negligent in examining the undertrial.

The 29-year-old gangster was found dead inside Tihar in August, with his family alleging he was murdered by jail officials for refusing to pay them protection money.

The court was told that a misconduct report against another medical officer has been forwarded to the Delhi Health department for initiating necessary action against him for “failing to supervise the duty doctor and medical staff in providing necessary medical aid to the injured inmate who ultimately died”.

Goel also told the court that laxity on part of Deputy Superintendent Vinay Thakur has been duly noticed in the case and he has also been found negligent in performing his duties. Departmental action is being initiated against him as per the rules, the reply states.

Goel further told the court that 6,944 new CCTV cameras have been installed in jails across Delhi and recording of these cameras is preserved for one month at two different locations.

The submissions were made in a reply filed before the court in response to the petition seeking a CBI inquiry into Gujjar’s death. The court had allowed the prayer in September and transferred the probe to the central agency. Four prison officials including Deputy Superintendent Narender Meena, Assistant Superintendents Deepak Dabas and Balraj, and Warder Shiva had been suspended after the incident.

The CBI Thursday told the court that it has examined 27 witnesses, including 11 inmates, in the case. The central agency in its reply also said they are looking into UPI transactions of Gujjar’s brother in connection with his allegation that jail officials were demanding money from the inmates. The transaction details have been sought from Paytm, according to the CBI.

“During investigation, one witness disclosed that one personnel from jail staff received cash amount delivered by him, on behalf of Shri Ankit Gujjar in March 2021. The investigation on this part is underway,” said the CBI.

While transferring the case to the CBI, Justice Mukta Gupta in September had said that it was a very serious offence which requires an in-depth investigation to unearth the alleged extortion taking place in the prison. The court said the role of jail doctors also has to be probed in the case.

Gujjar’s family, through advocate Mehmood Pracha, had argued that it was not a simple case of spur-of-the-moment custodial violence, but alleged he was murdered because he refused to pay extortion money to jail staff.

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