₹1-cr extortion case: Constable who accompanied sacked SI arrested by Chandigarh police
The accused, identified as constable Varinder, is deployed at a beat box in Sector 41; he is accused of accompanying SI Naveen Phogat, along with another constable, when he extorted the money from the victim, Sanjay Goyal, in Sector 40 on August 4
A day after Chandigarh Police booked a sub-inspector (SI), along with three others, for kidnapping a Bathinda-based businessman and extorting ₹1.01 crore from him, police on Monday arrested a constable in the case.
The accused, identified as constable Varinder, is deployed at a beat box in Sector 41. He is accused of accompanying SI Naveen Phogat, along with another constable, when he extorted the money from the victim, Sanjay Goyal, in Sector 40 on August 4.
SI Phogat, meanwhile, remains at large. Posted as additional station house officer (SHO) at the Sector 39 police station, the SI was only recently reinstated after being acquitted of raping a Mumbai-based model.
He had escaped from the police station on August 5, after the victim, who deals in wholesale of split chickpeas (chana dal) in Bathinda, arrived to lodge a complaint against him. Police have recovered ₹75 lakh of the total extorted amount that Phogat had reportedly returned to Goyal for maintaining silence.
On Sunday, the SI, along with other accused, including Sarvesh of Bathinda, who is into the business of currency exchange, Ankit Gill and Jitender, both of Phase 11, Mohali, were booked for extortion, kidnapping, cheating, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy on the complaint of the victim. Jitender runs an immigration consultancy in Aerocity, Mohali, said police.
Sent to three-day remand
A local court sent constable Varinder to three-day police custody on Monday.
Police had sought his remand, contending that ₹26 lakh of the extorted amount was yet to be recovered and Varinder may help trace the whereabouts of the absconding accused.
His counsel, Gaurav Sahota, argued in court that his client was called to the spot by Phogat, his senior, and he was not already with him. “There are no call records between Varinder and Phogat regarding the pending ₹26 lakh, which are yet to be recovered as claimed by the police. Had he been involved, he would have been in touch with the SI,” the lawyer said.
Earlier, the court recorded the statements of the victim, along with his driver Raj Kumar and business partner Rajeev, alias Happy.
Another cop wanted, gangster link not ruled out
Meanwhile, police are also on the trail of another absconding constable.
Sources said this constable was deployed as the personal security officer (PSO) of Parveen Shah, brother of Rajveer, alias Sonu Shah, who was shot dead in his office in Burail in broad daylight in September 2019.
Sonu, a property dealer and a history sheeter, was killed by members of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang. The deceased’s cousin Monty Shah was also arrested in the case.
Monty had fired six bullet shots at Parveen, a witness in the Sonu Shah murder case, in 2020, but he had escaped unhurt.
According to sources, both Parveen and his PSO are absconding.
“Involvement of gangsters may emerge during investigation. There is a possibility that some notorious person planned to bring the victim to Chandigarh with ₹1 crore and extort the money by threatening him,” an officer said.