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The dark side of encounter cops

delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2008 03:11 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
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Assistant commissioner of police Rajbir Singh was not the only encounter specialist who fell to the lure of the land/property mafia. These specialists, who live by their automatics, are expected to draw a line between countering criminals and adopting pressure tactics to amass personal fortunes. But the line does get blurred now and then.

Only around a month ago, the Thane police had arrested another Deputy Superintendent Police-level officer on the charges of threatening a local property developer. The arrested officer, Ravindranath Angre, a well-known encounter specialist with around 54 ‘kills’ to his name was arrested on February 23 in connection with a property dispute. The complainant, Ganesh Wagh, allegedly an old “investment point-man” of the officer, had backed out of a deal to build a Rs 100 crore swimming pool-cum-club complex in Thane with Angre's wife as a partner.

Angre, who is in judicial custody currently, has since claimed that Wagh allegedly framed him at the behest of a local influential Shiv Sena legislator and certain “underworld elements that wanted to silence the guns of the encounter specialists”.

Similarly, another Mumbai encounter specialist, Daya Nayak, who has 84 ‘kills’ to his name, was arrested in early 2006 by the state Anti corruption Bureau on charges of amassing properties — Rs 41 crore — disproportionate to his known sources of income. The prosecution's contention was that Nayak had allegedly prepared dubious documents pertaining to a flat owned by him in the White Rose apartments in suburban Bandra, that he traveled by air more several dozen times to Mangalore, Bangalore and Ahmedabad along with his family members. Another allegation was that Nayak had purchased a licensed pistol that cost him Rs 1.5 lakh and paid Rs. 2,50,000 for a mobile that was not in his name but was used by him.

Last September, in Delhi itself, a case of extortion and criminal intimidation was registered against four Delhi police officers, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Ram Chander. The complainant, one Dr Mukesh Aggarwal, a resident of north-west Delhi, had alleged that the ACP had issued threats to frame him in a false “rape case” if he did not pay up the extortion sum he had been demanding.

The Delhi Police's Crime Branch is currently probing the case. Investigators said the ACP had initially sent a woman, posing as a patient, to the doctor’s clinic. A few days later, the officer allegedly barged into his clinic and threatened to arrest the doctor for ‘raping’ the patient.