THE STATION House Officer (SHO) of Barra police station was suspended on Thursday over “laxity” in the investigation into the kidnapping case of a 27-year-old youth, Sanjit Singh Yadav, whose family alleges that they were told to pay Rs 30 lakh to the kidnappers by policemen and that they would nab them but the kidnapper escaped with the money. Sanjit has been missing since June 22.
The victim’s sister initially alleged that the police took the the family members to pay the ransom but later withdrew the claims. However, on Thursday, she alleged that a crime branch officer made her give a statement “in favour of the police”.
A video had gone viral on social media on Wednesday in which the sister of the youth, Ruchi (22), was purportedly heard saying that there were only clothes in the bag and no money had been lost. But on Thursday, she told The Indian Express that she made the statement “under pressure” from a Crime Branch officer who recorded it.
In another video on Thursday, Ruchi Kumar (22), said, “One person from the Crime Branch, Dinesh Yadav, had visited us. He said your brother’s life may be at risk if you give a statement like this… he (kidnapper) may do something to him (my brother). He said I am doing ‘mediabaazi’. He asked if I want my brother back and I said yes… Then, he shot a video of me and circulated it on social media. Under pressure from him, I said all that… He asked me to say that the bag was empty and did not have money.”
“Dinesh Yadav spoke to me alone in a room and taught me to say that there were clothes in the bag. I said so because I want my brother back safely,” she said.
The ransom was taken by the kidnappers on Monday, claimed Ruchi. Their father, Chaman Singh Yadav, owns a paan shop.
ADG (Law & Order) Prashant Kumar said, “We have suspended Barra SHO Rajit Rai. If the family has an issue regarding being put under pressure by a policeman, they should lodge a complaint with senior officers in Kanpur.”
In the video, Ruchi added, “My father had gone with the bag along with a police team and my cousins, my father’s friends… The money is gone and he (kidnapper) wasn’t caught…”
Asked who all were part of the police team, Ruchi claimed, “Ranjit Rai sir was there and there was a team. I have been told there were 15 people.”
Earlier in a video, Ruchi said, “I had gone to Aparna madam. My brother has been kidnapped and I am getting calls for ransom… We arranged money. We went to Aparna madam and said that a tracking chip should be installed in the bag. Madam said the bag will be theirs, money will be ours. She asked me not to worry. Police said that if we give the money, my brother will return. Police were with us, and made us throw the bag from the highway. We sold our house, jewellery. The money for my wedding was also in it.”
Aparna Gupta, Additional SP (South), on Wednesday said, “… when senior officers asked the family about the source of the money, they could not give a satisfactory answer. They said the bag was empty. They were told by some that if they say that it had money, it will help their case and the (kidnapped) youth will return soon. We have sympathy towards the family. It is our priority to find the person.”
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