Chandigarh house grab case: DSP Ram Gopal’s role under scanner, brother held
Making the third arrest into the Sector-37 house grab case, police on Thursday nabbed Satpal Dagar, the younger brother of Chandigarh deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Ram Gopal.
The arrest comes two days after journalist Sanjeev Mahajan and realtor Manish Gupta were apprehended for forcibly grabbing the house, owned by 48-year-old Rahul Mehta, the only surviving heir of his family.
DSP Ram Gopal is also under the scanner as the FIR details that a meeting regarding the deal of the house was held at his office and he helped manage documents for it.
Satpal will be produced before the court on Friday, when accused Sanjeev and Manish will also be produced after expiry of their previous police remand.
Police had booked nine men on charges of kidnapping and torturing Rahul in April 2017 to secure the general power of attorney (GPA) of his 338 square yards house and selling it to Manish’s brother Saurabh Gupta for ₹2.9 crore in March 2019.
Besides Satpal, Sanjeev and Saurabh, others named in the FIR are businessman Khalendra Singh Kadyan and liquor contractor Arvind Singla, to whom the GPA was transferred; slain bouncer Surjit Singh; Ashok Arora; Shekhar and Daljit Singh, who purportedly acted as witnesses in the sale of the house.
Satpal initially purchased the property
After joining investigation, Arvind Singla told the police that he was first offered to purchase the Sector-37 property in April 2017, but he had turned down the deal.
Later, he was informed that Sanjeev had sold the property for ₹2.5 crore to Satpal, brother of a DSP. Arvind, then, along with Ashok Arora, who was a witness in the GPA, had met DSP Ram Gopal at his office and discussed about the house deal.
Thereafter, Arvind, Ashok and Satpal met at his office in Sector 40, where he offered to become a 50% shareholder in the deal, but Satpal allowed him only 33%.
After this deal was finalised, Arvind issued a cheque for ₹5 lakh in the favour of house owner Rahul and gave it to Satpal. On April 26, 2017, he also transferred ₹11 lakh to the account of Khalendra through an online payment, on the directions of Satpal.
On April 27, 2017, Ashok and Satpal called him to the deputy commissioner’s office in Sector 17 to get the GPA registered. There, Sanjeev and Khalendra were also present and introduced him to a man, claiming he was Rahul, the house owner.
The GPA was executed in the favour of Arvind and Khalendra, following which Satpal provided Sanjeev a cheque for ₹67 lakh in favour of Rahul.
According to Arvind, he approached Sanjeev, Ashok, Satpal and Khalendra to get the registry of house, but they did not respond, prompting him to seek refund of his money with interest.
He also arranged a meeting of Ashok and Satpal with his realtor friend, Manish Gupta, who later met Sanjeev and finalised the deal of the house.
Hereon, the accused managed the required documents through DSP Gopal to get the sale deed of Rahul’s house executed in favour of Manish’s brother Saurabh Gupta, and the GPA in the name of Arvind and Khalendra was cancelled.
Journo’s financial trail
Digging into journalist Sanjeev Mahajan’s financial trail, police have traced a hotel, a house in Sector 37 and a flat owned by him or his family members.
The police investigation also found out that despite having an annual income of less than ₹10 lakh, he had paid off a car loan of ₹25 lakh in five months.
“His investments, expansion of business interests, and moveable and immoveable properties are much more than his known sources of income. We are tracing how he arranged money for all this,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, senior superintendent of police, Chandigarh.
Police also conducted searches at the house of Manish in Sector 38.