The final nail in an east Delhi-based extortionist's coffin has led the Delhi Police to an alleged mole residing deep within their own ranks.
It all began when a harrowed Anshul Arora, a businessman from Anand Vihar, approached the police on May 5 with a complaint against Jaswant Chaudhary. The accused was an alleged history-sheeter formerly operating from Uttar Pradesh but was now active in Delhi.
"In his complaint, Arora alleged that Chaudhary had threatened him at gunpoint to 'borrow' his Hyundai i10 car on May 4. He also said that Chaudhary had been extorting from him on one pretext or the other for the past three years. We registered a case against him and arrested Chaudhary on May 6," said a senior police officer looking into the matter.
However, during Chaudhary's questioning, the proverbial skeletons - that one of the most efficient anti-auto theft sleuths among the Delhi Police ranks had kept hidden for three years - started tumbling out.
According to sources, Chaudhary claimed that he owed his fangs to his association with a Delhi Police inspector. The inspector was previously posted in the south district and had recently been transferred to the anti-auto theft squad in the east district.
"As the officer in question is among our best, we were investigating Chaudhary's claims when, on May 11, Arora and one of his associates, Nitin Dhupar approached us with a complaint against the same officer. According to the two men, he had started harassing them over the phone after Chaudhary's arrest," the officer said.
In their written complaints, copies of which are with the Hindustan Times, Arora and Dhupar have alleged that the said inspector has demanded at least R7 lakh in addition to electronic items such as laptops from both of them. This officer has busted several gangs of auto-lifters and highway robbers in his previous posting.
According to Arora and Dhupar, if they failed to comply with the demands, they were warned by the accused officer that they stand to get charge-sheeted in false auto-lifting cases and "other dire consequences" would follow. Instead of waiting for the police to carry out sting operations - on the basis of which disciplinary proceedings against 145 inspector-level officers were initiated in 2010 - the complainants also handed over CDs and video-clips as evidence of their being blackmailed.
"We have received two written complaints about this officer and are verifying the claims made," said Prabhakar, deputy commissioner of police (east).