Former Dasna jail superintendent VK Singh was booked for murder on Thursday. An FIR was registered against Singh and others in connection with the mysterious death of Frontier Mail serial bomb blasts suspect Mohammed Shakeel last year.
The case was registered at Masoori police station on the direction of Ghaziabad Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Besides Singh, the court ordered to file an FIR against deputy jailer Ramji Singh, two constables and some other staff.
Confirming the court’s order, senior superintendent of police Raghubir Lal said the officials were booked under sections 302 (murder) and 120-b (criminal conspiracy).
The series of events that led to murder and criminal conspiracy charges against the jail officials was the suspected custodial death of Frontier Mail serial bomb blast accused Mohammed Shakeel, who had allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at Dasna Jail Complex in June 2009. However, his post-mortem report could not ascertain the exact reasons that led to his death. Following allegations of foul play by his family, a chemical analysis of victim’s viscera was carried out which revealed death due to poisoning.
“He didn't die of asphyxiation due to hanging as projected by the jail officials. We approached the court, saying that he was killed inside the jail complex. A chief judicial magistrate also conducted an inquiry into the incident and later the court ordered to lodge an FIR against jail officials,” said Subhash Tyagi, Shakeel’s advocate.
Shakeel’s brother, Mohammed Habib, who is also a complainant in the case, alleged that Shakeel was murdered under a criminal conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Singh, who is presently posted at the Bareilly Central Jail, told the Hindustan Times that he was on a five-day official tour for forensic science training session in Delhi at the time of the incident. “Even our deputy jailer Ramji Singh was on leave on the day Shakeel died. The forensic reports from Lucknow have confirmed that he didn’t die due to poisoning. The allegations against us are not true and would come out clear in police investigations,” Singh said.
Shakeel and his accomplice Aamir were the prime suspects in the 1997 Frontier Mail serial bomb blasts. Around 15 FIRs were lodged against the duo in Delhi and two in Ghaziabad under various sections of the Explosives Act and the IPC. Before 2005, the two suspects faced trials in Delhi and were lodged at the Tihar jail.
Later, they were transferred to Dasna jail to face trial in cases lodged against them at Ghaziabad.