They defied political pressure and braved threat to life to lead the investigation and prosecution in the Nitish Katara murder case. Investigating Officer Anil Samania and Chief Public Prosecutor B.S. Joon showed courage in discharging their duties and securing conviction of Vikas and Vishal Yadav.
Joon, who took charge of the case in 2006, played a vital role in bringing Bharti Yadav to court to depose as a prosecution witness. Apart from immense indirect pressure, Joon was served a defamation notice by the defence to create pressure. They later withdrew the notice after the high court called it “a way to put pressure on the prosecutor”. He was then also provided with police security.
Speaking to HT, Joon today gave the entire credit of the success to Neelam Katara. “I would give the entire credit for the success to Mrs Neelam Katara. I only did my job honestly with complete devotion in a fearful manner,” he said.
Anil Samania, as the station officer (SO) of Kavi Nagar police station, was handed over the task of investigating into the mysterious disappearance of Nitish Katara from a party at Diamond Banquet Hall in Kavi Nagar Industrial Area, Ghaziabad, on the intervening night of February 16 and 17, 2002.
It was an uphill task. They were to probe the involvement of D.P. Yadav, who was then a Member of Parliament, and his son and nephew Vikas and Vishal Yadav. It was a high profile case and there were apprehensions that the police might botch up the case under pressure. The then senior superintendent of police Prashant Kumar and superintendent of police (city) Ashok S. Raghav gave a freehand to Samania and told him not to buckle under any pressure.
Recently, Samania, posted as SO of Sector 39 police station in Noida, was made the investigating officer in the Aarushi Talwar murder case before he took ill and was replaced by another inspector.
“He played a crucial role in arresting Vikas and Vishal Yadav in Madhya Pradesh, interrogating the two accused, recovering Katara’s belongings and a hammer from the place of crime, collecting other evidences, interrogating scores of witnesses and finally chargesheeting the accused for murder, abduction and destruction of evidence. His keen interest in computers and Internet helped the police in getting access to the email account of Bharti Yadav and gathering some information, crucial to the case,” said a police officer who helped Samania in the investigations.
Samania himself has not been free of controversies. He has been known for his investigating acumen in the police force and, during his six years of stay in Ghaziabad district, Samania was involved in several encounters, including that of dreaded criminal Rakesh Hasanpuria. His name, however, was often dragged into fake encounters but every time he was exonerated.
In 2006, Samania was caught in a sting operation while agreeing to carry out a fake police encounter. He was immediately suspended. He approached the UP High Court and managed to get reinstated.