Suspended Haryana cadre IAS officer Sanjeev Kumar was arrested by the Delhi Police for conspiring to murder a Delhi-based businessman. Kumar, while he was in Tihar Jail after being convicted in the Junior Basic Teachers recruitment scam case, allegedly hired gangsters to kill his close associate Tikka Hassan Mustafa.
Police said Kumar, a 1985-batch IAS officer, planned the murder when he was in judicial custody in the JBT case, in which former Haryana chief minister, Om Prakash Chautala, his son, Ajay and 53 others were convicted for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers. Kumar was initially the whistle-blower in the scam. Mustafa, too, was an accused in the case but was acquitted in 2013.
Police sources said Kumar hoped to kill Mustafa and then blame the Chautalas for the crime. “While the main plan was to kill his friend, Kumar intended to get himself injured to implicate the Chautala family,” police sources said. Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) R S Yadav said Kumar was arrested along with a gangster, Shoukat Pasha, who is serving a life sentence in Tihar Jail and two shooters Taufiq and Manna alias Murtaza.
“Kumar has been arrested for criminal conspiracy to eliminate Mustafa, a businessman, who is his friend and closest associate. The plan was hatched in Tihar Jail when Sanjeev was in judicial custody along with the Chautalas. He wanted to eliminate his close friend with whom he had some property dispute,” he added.
Kumar was director of primary education and the court had relied on his testimony for the verdict. He was initially a whistle-blower in the teachers’ recruitment case but a CBI probe found he was also involved in the scam. “Shoukat Pasha and Kumar became friends in Tihar jail. Kumar provided the financing and, in return, Pasha provided him protection inside the jail. After coming out of jail, they used to talk over phone constantly,” the officer added.
Sources said that Kumar jumped parole in March 2014 and had been absconding since then. He was hiding in Mustafa’s residence in New Friends Colony along with his wife. Kumar asked Mustafa to return the Rs 10 crore he owed him, but he refused saying that he had spent all the money on his lawyers. “Kumar got rattled and he decided to eliminate Mustafa. Kumar started hatching the conspiracy along with his Pasha and asked him to hire contract killers,” police sources added.
Police sources said the operation began with Taufiq’s arrest with a loaded country-made pistol and four live cartridges. During questioning, Taufiq told police that they were to attack Kumar and Mustafa on the road, making it look like a road-rage incident. Sources also said the shooters were asked to injure Kumar and kill Mustafa. “Taufiq disclosed they met Kumar on several occasions to finalise the plan and were constantly in touch with Pasha,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Dinesh Kumar Gupta.
Kumar was later arrested from New Friends Colony. “Kumar told the police about his plan to get injured during the shootout and later blame the Chautala family. Kumar was in continuous touch with all these conspirators and had also arranged weapons to execute their plan,” Gupta said.
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