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Sunday, March 07, 2021

Gangster Chhota Rajan cleared of all charges for ‘murder attempt’ on journalist in 1997

The central agency submitted that there is no material to connect Rajan to an incident when two unknown persons fired shots at the reporter, Baljeet Parmar.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
Updated: February 7, 2021 7:14:47 am
Gangster Chhota Rajan (File)

A SPECIAL court on Saturday accepted CBI’s closure report clearing gangster Chhota Rajan of charges including attempt to murder for an alleged bid to kill a journalist, covering the crime beat, in 1997. The central agency submitted that there is no material to connect Rajan to an incident when two unknown persons fired shots at the reporter, Baljeet Parmar. The CBI claimed that Parmar remained untraceable during the trial.

A complaint was filed in 1997 at Antop Hill police station claiming that two unknown persons on a motorcycle fired four shots at Parmar from a revolver with an intention to kill him. Parmar was waiting for his driver outside a building when the incident took place on June 12, 1997. Police had arrested four men and filed a chargesheet against them while naming Rajan and another man, named Rohit Varma, as wanted accused claiming the crime was committed at Rajan’s behest.

The special court on Saturday said of the available material, the only reference to Rajan is in the FIR where it is claimed that a person named Dalbeer Singh had previously received threats from the gangster’s men. “Except this, there is no material to connect the accused (Rajan) in this crime… Even otherwise, the investigating officer of CBI did not find any link to connect the accused with guilt. The IO is unable to collect vital evidence like CDRs (call data record), etc. This court has made an attempt to call the informant, Baljeet Shersingh Parmar, but he is not traceable on the given address,” special judge A T Wankhede said.

The CBI has submitted a report stating that Parmar could not be served a summons and that there is no sufficient material to proceed against Rajan.

Parmar, however, said he had not received a summons from CBI or the court. “It is surprising that the country’s premier investigating agency says it could not trace me. My contact number is with police officials including those of CBI and I am present on social media as well. After the case was transferred to CBI, I should have been contacted and my statement taken. I will consult my lawyer and decide on filing a review plea before the High Court against this decision,” said the reporter, who is now 70. He added that five bullets were fired at him and he had given his statement saying he had received a threat as well.

The court also took into consideration that in 2000, the men charged were also cleared of the charge of attempt to murder. In 2000, the court convicted one of the four men, Mahendra Shelar, on charges, including Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons) of the IPC and sections of the Arms Act and Bombay Police Act. The court, however, acquitted him under Section 307 (attempt to murder). Two other accused were acquitted of all charges and one died pending trial.

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