STF goes slow, gangsters on extortion spree | india | Hindustan Times
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STF goes slow, gangsters on extortion spree

DREADED GANGSTERS Munna Bajrangi, Firdaus and Sanjiv Maheshwari, who are wanted in the BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case, have probably got signals that the Special Task Force (STF) will make no further efforts to trace them out.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 00:56 IST

DREADED GANGSTERS Munna Bajrangi, Firdaus and Sanjiv Maheshwari, who are wanted in the BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case, have probably got signals that the Special Task Force (STF) will make no further efforts to trace them out.

Munna and Firdaus carry rewards of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000, respectively, on their heads. These outlaws have made extortion calls to leading nursing home owners and businessmen in Varanasi, its adjacent districts, elsewhere in eastern UP and Uttaranchal freely for the past two months.

Most of the complainants were too scared to register cases. However, a few contacted junior policemen, seeking security.

In the meantime, the main conspirator Mukhtar Ansari continues to hold darbars featuring government officials in Ghazipur district jail.

Ansari is said to enjoy the patronage of the powers that be. Following pressure from the Opposition, the government had initially given a free hand to the STF sleuths to trace out the shooters and initiate action against Ansari.

The STF sleuths made prompt efforts to track down the accused. Senior cops pressed separate teams into service. The then SSP Akhil Kumar, who was also given charge of the SP, Ghazipur, procured an order for conducting voice examination of jailed accused Mukhtar Ansari.

But, the situation started changing soon after Akhil Kumar went to the US on an official tour and the STF teams engaged in the special operation were withdrawn.

It came to light that Ansari’s influence led to the move. Since then, STF sleuths made no efforts in the case. Gangsters took advantage of the STF’s indifference and swung into action.

Munna Bajrangi and Firdaus extorted hefty sums from Varanasi, Jaunpur, Bhadohi, Mughalsarai and Mirzapur. Sanjiv Maheshwari made a handsome amount after making extortion calls to Muzaffarnagar, Hardwar and Haldwani.
But, senior STF officials claimed teams were engaged in searching for the accused.