Delhi advocate Shailendra Singh Jaat, who has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping city jeweller Bhaskar Parekh and his friend Paresh Shah 16 years ago, on Wednesday told police that his car which was allegedly used in the crime was destroyed in an accident in 2002-03.
“The accused, during interrogation, has confessed that he used to lend his car to his cousin brothers Surajprakash Saheb Singh Jaat and Pradeepkumar Anar Singh Jaat frequently. He had lent the car during the time of the crime but claims that he was not aware of the kidnapping. He also claims that the car was reduced to scrap after it was involved in a road accident in 2002-03,” a top officer of Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of Rajkot city police said.
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DCB is investigating the alleged kidnapping of city jeweller Bhaskar Parekh and his friend Paresh Shah on November 12, 2000 by mafia based in Dubai and functionaries of terror group Jaish-e-Mahammed with the help of local gangs in Gujarat. The alleged kidnapping was done to extract Rs 20 crore ransom to fund terror activities in India.
After kidnapping then 26-year-old Parekh from Rajkot, investigators say, he was taken to Delhi and confined in New Palam Vihar in Gurgaon. On the other hand, Shah, who was then 33, was rescued by police from a village in Walia taluka in Bharuch on November 26. After they were paid Rs 1.5 crore, the kidnappers pushed Parekh in a Santro car and dumped him near a location called Addition Hospital in Delhi on December 1, 2000.
DCB say the Santro car belonged to Shailendra Singh. “He admits that he had bought the car. But the vehicle was registered in the name of a financier, Manish Gupta who had financed its purchase. According to statements of other accused, the car in question bore registration DL HF 4258. But Shailendra says the number does not match. So, we are in the process of verifying the number. We are also trying to access papers of insurance of the car,” the officer further said.
Shailendra (45), was arrested by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Sunday night form his Rohini residence in Delhi. Police say that he has been practicing law at Delhi District Court since 2010. However, he was into construction business at the time of the crime.
According to DCB, Surajaprakash Pradeepkumar and Pradeekumar’s friend Sanjay Ramchand Jaat dumped Parekh near Addition Hospital. Investigators say that Pradeepkumar is son of Shailendra’s mother’s brother while Surajkumar is son Shailendra’s mother’s sister. Surajprakash, Pradeepkumar and Sanjay were part of the group which came to Rajkot and kidnapped the duo, investigators say.
Shailendra is on police remand till May 23. He is the 52nd person to be arrested in the case. Aftab Ahmed Ansari, who has been convicted in the terrorist attack on American Centre is among the key conspirators of the case. Two of the accused were killed in separate encounters after the kidnapping.