Jeweller dies at DRI office, relatives say he was ‘tortured’, demand probe
Hours after DRI officials raided the jeweller’s Shalimar Bagh shops and seized 35 kilograms of foreign marked gold that was concealed in the door panel of a safe at one of the shops, he jumped off from the visitors room of the DRI office.delhi Updated: Apr 27, 2018 08:26 IST
A day after a jeweller from Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh allegedly jumped to his death from the sixth floor office of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Lodhi Colony, his family approached police and the Delhi High Court seeking investigation into his “suspicious death”.
The family in their police complaint has named a senior DRI official and his team.
The family alleged that Gaurav Gupta,40, was tortured to death and that a DRI official had demanded a bribe of Rs1.5 crore for his safe return.
Hearing a plea where Gupta’s mother Manju made these allegations on Thursday, the Delhi High Court directed that a medical board be constituted for conducting the postmortem.
On Wednesday afternoon — hours after DRI officials raided the jeweller Gaurav Gupta’s Shalimar Bagh shops and seized 35 kilograms of foreign marked gold that was concealed in the door panel of a safe at one of the shops— he jumped off from the visitors room of the DRI office. Police have not recovered any suicide note.
Similar raids were conducted at Gupta’s three premises in Shalimar Bagh and recovered 6 kilograms of foreign marked gold and 213 kilograms of silver bullion. DRI officials also seized Rs 48 lakh in cash. The total value of the seized gold and silver was around Rs 12.50 crore, said a DRI statement.
The DRI statement said Gupta was neither summoned nor arrested by the DRI and he and his father visited the DRI office on their own.
Gupta’s father Ashok denied DRI’s claims and said he was forcefully taken to DRI office along with his son.
“We were held by our necks and taken out of our shop. They forcefully took us to the DRI office even as my son and I pleaded with the officials to let us go. We tried to reason that we had an explanation for the gold that was found in our possession but they refused to believe us. Our mobiles were snatched away and I and Gaurav were made to sit in different rooms,” said Ashok Gupta.
He added that around noon he heard his son’s screams from the other room. “Once the DRI officials assured me that my son was safe, I returned home in the evening,” said Ashok Gupta.
The family alleged that Gupta’s mother Manju received a call from a DRI official in which they demanded Rs 1.5 crore for Gupta’s safe release. According to her petition, after receiving the call Gupta’s brother Nitin went to the DRI office where he was informed that his brother has been shifted to a hospital at Lodhi Road.
When he visited the hospital, he saw his brother on the stretcher and noticed bruises and torture marks on his body. The family alleged that they were not intimated about Gaurav’s death and they only got to know from a news report running on the internet. All these allegations were also made in a police complaint submitted by Stuti Gupta, the wife of the deceased.
On Thursday, Justice Mukta Gupta directed south DCP to preserve the CCTV footage of the office, shop of Gaurav Gupta along with the DRI office or the area near the office. A senior police officer said no case has been registered so far and they are waiting for an SDM to complete an inquest into the matter.