Seven policemen and three others were arrested late on Thursday night and were sent to jail on Friday after Baddan Singh alias Baddo, a 50-year-old gangster, escaped from police custody reportedly after throwing a liquor party for the cops in a hotel, police said.
“Seven policemen and three civilians who were accompanying Baddo before his escape were arrested late last night and were sent to jail on Friday. More arrests are likely as we have got fresh names of those who have helped the convict,” said Akhilesh Narain Singh, SP (city), Meerut.
Among those who have been sent to jail are Inspector Deshraj Tyagi, constables Omveer, Santosh, Sunil, Rajkumar, Bhupinder and Ihetsham. The three others who have been arrested are Jawahar, Bunty and one more, who were present in the hotel in Meerut from where Baddo escaped, Singh added.
“Meerut police has interrogated Mukesh, the owner of the hotel, and some other close associates of the gangster but so far there is no trace of him. We have got inputs that a few local people helped him escape. We have identified those links and are conducting raids to arrest him,” said Nitin Tiwari, Meerut SSP.
Former police chief Brij Lal, who had also served as Meerut SSP, had launched a crackdown against Baddo and got an award of Rs 1.5 lakh declared on his head. “I had damaged many of his trade links during the drive and since then I was one of his targets,” he said. Lal said that he had sought Z-category security cover in 2012 apprehending threat to his life.
“When I was at the police academy after being shifted from the post of state police chief, I was told by a top intelligence official that Baddo had sent a message to a criminal saying that I had become a sitting duck in the academy and can be easily fixed. I had immediately sought multi-layer protection and was provided the security. Baddo is a hardened criminal and is a cancer for the society,” Brij Lal, who is at present the chairman of the SC/ST commission, told The Indian Express over phone. The security was later reduced to Y-category.
“His (Baddo) stint in the crime world started with liquor smuggling in Meerut and other districts of west UP. He earned crores by purchasing disputed properties in and around Meerut at cheap rates and then selling the same at a premium,” Brij Lal added.
“Baddo once had 29 criminal cases, including that of murder and extortion, against him but he had been acquitted in 25 of them. At present, he has only four cases pending against him in Meerut and Noida courts, including the one in which he was convicted and given life sentence last year for killing a lawyer in Meerut in 1996,” said a lawyer on condition of anonymity.
“His former wife is settled in Australia with his daughter while his son, Sikandar (23) lives in Meerut. He always moved around in a bullet-proof Mercedes Benz and has property not only in Meerut, Ghaziabad and Noida but also in Ethiopia,” the lawyer added.