Updated: July 29, 2022 11:34:15 am
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested the assistant superintendent and jail warder of Tihar Jail in the case pertaining to the alleged murder of gangster Ankit Gujjar, 29, by prison officials inside the jail last year, the agency said.
An officer said the arrested men have been identified as Dinesh Dabas, suspended assistant superintendent and Deepak Chikara, suspended head warder. Both were arrested a few days ago. The CBI is still probing the role of other jail officials. Two months ago, the former deputy superintendent of Tihar Jail, Narender Meena, was arrested in connection with the case.
The CBI said that following the recovery of a phone and other contraband from Gujjar’s cell in August last year, he was instructed to be shifted to another ward, which the gangster allegedly resisted, leading to a fight with deputy superintendent Meena. Gujjar and two other inmates were allegedly beaten up by the jail staff and Gujjar later died in his cell, they added. After the incident, Meena, two assistant superintendents and a jail warder were suspended by the jail administration, officers said.
Gujjar, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat, had allegedly killed BJP leader Vijay Pandit outside his Dadri home in 2014 along with three other associates and was arrested in 2015. His name has also cropped up in 22 other cases, including eight cases of murder and extortion.
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The CBI, in a report before the Delhi High Court, has said that Gujjar was illegally using a mobile phone number inside the jail to contact his family and friends to make requests for transfer of payments to various persons, including jail officers.
The mobile number was used in 10 different handsets, according to the CBI, between June and August 2021 while Gujjar was in judicial custody in Tihar. One person received Rs 3.50 lakh from three different men “in the months of June-July 2021 for delivering to jail staff on behalf of Ankit Gujjar”, the report said. It also mentions the name of two head warders of Central Jail 3 to whom the money was allegedly delivered.
Regarding the transfers of Rs 1.44 lakh made by Gujjar’s brother through Paytm, the court was told that the money was routed through different people and ultimately allegedly reached either other inmates or jail staff.
The court, last year, transferred the murder case to the CBI after hearing the petition filed by Gujjar’s mother Geeta through advocate Mehmood Pracha. While transferring the case, Justice Mukta Gupta had said in September 2021 that it was a very serious offence which requires an in-depth investigation to unearth the alleged extortions taking place in the prison.
The CBI, in its report, said they examined 113 witnesses in the case and the probe focused on the murder of Gujjar, negligence in providing him medical treatment, connivance of a jail official in not allowing the police to enter the jail, non-functioning of CCTV cameras, and also the demand of money by jail officials.
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