₹1.01-crore extortion case: Dismissed Chandigarh cop surrenders before court
Posted as additional station house officer (SHO) at the Sector 39 police station before his dismissal, sub-inspector Naveen Phogat was denied anticipatory bail in the last week of August and had been evading arrest ever since
On the run for three months, dismissed sub-inspector (SI) Naveen Phogat, who is accused of kidnapping a Bathinda-based businessman and extorting ₹1.01 crore from him by threatening to kill him in August this year, surrendered before a local court on Friday.
Posted as additional station house officer (SHO) at the Sector 39 police station before his dismissal, Phogat was denied anticipatory bail in the last week of August and had been evading arrest ever since.
Earlier in October, through the third and final non-bailable warrant (NBW), the court had given Phogat the final chance to appear before it or to surrender, failing which he will be declared a proclaimed offender.
On Friday morning, Phogat, accompanied by his advocate, appeared in the court of judicial magistrate first class Puneet Mohinia and surrendered.
“Around 12.30 pm, police sought five-day remand, stating that they had to recover the remaining ₹25 lakh of extortion money and to establish the whereabouts of other absconding accused,” sources said.
The court granted three-day remand. He will be produced in court again on November 27.
As per the victim, Sanjay Goyal, who deals in wholesale of split chickpeas (chana dal) in Bathinda, the accused called him to Chandigarh on August 4, offering to exchange ₹2,000 currency notes at a profit of 5%.
When he brought ₹1.01 crore to Chandigarh on the insistence of his friend, Sarvesh, who runs a money exchange business in Bathinda, the accused extorted the amount by faking a raid in Sector 40.
The SI, along with other accused, allegedly threatened to kill him and implicate him in false arms and drugs cases, following which, on August 5, he had lodged a complaint at the Sector 39 police station, where the SI was posted.
At the station, Goyal had run into Phogat, who had returned ₹75 lakh to him in exchange for maintaining silence, before escaping from the station.
Among the other accused, police have so far arrested three men, including two constables Shiv Kumar and Varinder, deployed at a beatbox in Sector 40, and Barjinder Singh Gill, alias Ankit. According to police, both the constables accompanied Phogat when he extorted ₹1.01 crore from Goyal.
Apart from Phogat, NBWs have also been out against three other co-accused, including Onkar, alias Lucky, alias Grewal, and Pawan, both residents of Pathankot; and Parveen Shah, brother of slain gangster Sonu Shah.
Two more accused, Jitender, who runs an immigration consultancy in Aerocity, Mohali, and Goyal’s friend Sarvesh also remain on the run.
All accused are facing a case of extortion, kidnapping, cheating, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.