At least nine Lucknow crime branch policemen were suspended and 21 others sent to the police lines for allegedly trying to extort Rs. 20 lakh from a city paan masala trader during a late Sunday night raid.
This means the entire crime branch - barring additional superintendent of police Rak Singh - has been ‘functionally disbanded’.
The suspended officials include three sub-inspectors HN Mishra, KK Mishra and SK Mishra and six police constables. Senior superintendent of police J Ravinder Goud said a recommendation would be made to transfer the suspended cops outside Lucknow as their act had maligned the city police image.
Those sent to the lines included two inspectors, four sub-inspectors and 15 constables, he said and added the action was a must as he had earlier received four similar complaints against the crime branch cops.
Paan masala trader Om Narain Singh had called on the additional director general (ADG, law and order) Arun Kumar with the extortion complaint on Saturday. His factory is located on Kursi Road.
During the probe, the crime branch officials alleged that Singh had been manufacturing gutkha (tobacco mixed paan masala) in violation of the existing ban.
However, Singh told the ADG that the sleuths tried to extort Rs. 20 lakh from him and even took away Rs. 10 lakh from his factory.
The probe, however, is silent on this.