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Looking into claims of ‘extortion’ by Tihar Jail officials, CBI tells HC

The court was hearing a matter on the murder of 29-year-old gangster Ankit Gujjar allegedly by jail officials inside the prison in August.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 9, 2021 9:13:13 pm
Ankit gujjar, tihar jail, delhi tihar jail, hari nagar, indian express newsAnkit Gujjar was an accused in the murder of BJP leader Vijay Pandit outside his Dadri home in 2014. He was arrested in 2015. (File)

The Central Bureau of Investigation Thursday told the Delhi High Court that they are probing prisoners’ allegations of extortion by Tihar jail officials and have also sought information from the banks. The court was hearing a matter on the murder of 29-year-old gangster Ankit Gujjar allegedly by jail officials inside the prison in August.

“We are examining the aspect of extortion as well as murder. On the aspect of extortion, we are going beyond this case. We are looking for the larger conspiracy on this aspect because there are many other victims of this extortion,” a counsel representing the CBI submitted before the bench of Justice Mukta Gupta.

While transferring the murder case to the CBI, Justice Gupta in September had said it was a serious offence that requires an in-depth investigation to unearth the alleged extortion in the prison.

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

The CBI Thursday told the court that the investigation was at a crucial stage and 60 witnesses have been examined.

However, the court said the probe has “always been at a crucial stage” and asked whether complicity of anyone has been found.

“Did you notice this? It was not in the bank accounts of persons who were manning the prisons. They were getting it through Paytm in the names of X, Y, and Z. It has nothing to do with the bank accounts,” said Justice Gupta.

The counsel representing the CBI responded that they are confirming from the banks as well and have sought account statements. “We have examined five persons on this aspect. We are linking all the chains. We will file a detailed status report next month and most of the grievances of my learned friend will be sorted out,” the court was told.

The court said it was alleged that the money was being paid through persons who were not public servants. “You will have to find out the connection between them,” it said, while seeking a status report in a sealed cover before the next date of hearing on January 17.

Jail authorities had initiated action against doctors and prison staff after Gujjar’s death. The central agency has been looking into UPI transactions of Gujjar’s brother after he alleged that jail officials were demanding money from the inmates.

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