Shootout at Sagar Ratna: Police told court no case against criminal a week before gunning him down

A week before its men gunned down Manoj Vashisht in a restaurant filled with weekend diners, the Delhi Police's special cell told a city court he was not under investigation and that there was no case against him.
Customers-who-witnessed-the-gunfight-at-Sagar-Ratna-in-Rajender-Nagar-initially-thought-it-was-a-terror-strike-Virendra-Singh-Gosain-HT-Photo
Customers-who-witnessed-the-gunfight-at-Sagar-Ratna-in-Rajender-Nagar-initially-thought-it-was-a-terror-strike-Virendra-Singh-Gosain-HT-Photo
Updated on May 20, 2015 09:35 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

A week before its men gunned down Manoj Vashisht in a restaurant filled with weekend diners, the Delhi Police's special cell told a city court he was not under investigation and that there was no case against him.

Saturday night's incident has led to allegations of a staged killing and prompted a probe by a special investigation team (SIT). On Tuesday, all nine personnel involved in the operation were transferred "to ensure a fair probe", raising questions of why this was necessary since the SIT was not connected to the special cell.

Vashisht - who had seven cases of cheating against his name, none of them under the special cell - had filed for anticipatory bail on May 5, according to a document accessed by HT. In his plea, he said he was being harassed by special cell officers, and that seven of them had threatened to arrest him in Dhaula Kuan on April 29.

Watch:CCTV footage of shootout at Delhi's Sagar Ratna emerges

The court hearing the bail plea sought a report from the cops, based on which it disposed of Vashisht's petition. The court order read: "As per the report from the special cell, neither any FIR has been registered nor has any complaint been received against him."

The policemen are also facing allegations of extortion. Vashisht's wife Priyanka told HT her husband had paid Rs 60,000 to the officers on April 29.

However, this charge was not mentioned in Vashisht's complaint to the court. The SIT will record Priyanka's statement, sources said.

Priyanka has maintained that the cheating cases were not valid reason for the police to kill her husband in an encounter.

Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi has ordered a vigilance inquiry against the nine policemen present at the restaurant where Vashisht was killed. "I met the police commissioner and demanded that the officials be transferred as they might influence the probe. The commissioner was very cooperative and assured that a fair investigation will be carried out," Priyanka said.

The special cell, which deals with matters related to terrorism and internal security, has defended its officers' actions, saying they acted in self-defence after Vashisht fired the first shot when they went to arrest him at the Sagar Ratna restaurant in central Delhi's Rajender Nagar.

The case gets murkier with the SIT looking into whether Vashisht's phone was under surveillance. The 33-year-old used two phones, one of which was being tapped, according to sources. The special cell had received the sanction to intercept his phone a month ago, they said.

Authorisation for phone taps requires strict screening and is given only in cases where there is a perceived threat to internal security. Vashisht was not involved in any heinous crimes or terror activities.

"The final signatures that are needed to seek permission to tap phones are of the commissioner and the special cell commissioner, but the truth is that they are usually unaware of the person whose phones are being tapped, trusting their junior colleagues. The permission cover letter only has a number, not the identity of the person. The SIT will probe why his phone was tapped," said an officer.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prawesh Lama covers crime, policing, and issues of security in Delhi. Raised in Darjeeling, educated in Mumbai, he also looks at special features on social welfare in the National Capital.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Bihar: College asks students to use phone torch to write exam amid power crisis

    Bihar: College asks students to use phone torch to write exam amid power crisis

    Students of a prominent college in Bihar's Munger city were allegedly allowed to write exams using their mobile phone torchlight. The incident was reported from RD & DJ College, Munger on Wednesday when the power had tripped due to inclement weather and the college generator was not functioning either. Another examinee without disclosing his identity said, “The college and university here are playing a cruel joke with students.”

  • According to a Knight Frank report, Bengaluru has been ranked the 14th best city on the APAC Sustainability Index 2021 for sustainable development of commercial real estate. (Source: DSMax)

     Bengaluru in top APAC cities for sustainable commercial real estate: Report

    Bengaluru has been ranked 14 of 20 cities in the Asia Pacific region for sustainable development of commercial real estate by global consultants Knight Frank, news agency PTI said. The top five cities are Singapore, Sydney, Wellington, Perth, and Melbourne. Apart from Bengaluru, three other Indian cities - Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai - also made it to the list but were ranked in three of the bottom four places - 17, 18 and 20, respectively.

  • An overcast sky seen on the outskirts of Delhi on Thursday morning. (HT Photo)

    IMD declares onset of monsoon over Delhi; ‘orange’ alert in place for Friday too

    The India Meteorological Department on Thursday announced the onset of the southwest monsoon over Delhi following light spells of rainfall since early hours of the day. “The southwest monsoon has further advanced into entire Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir; some parts of Rajasthan, entire Delhi and some parts of Punjab and Haryana today, June 30, 2022,” the IMD said in a statement.

  • Bengaluru's COVID cases breached 1000-mark with positivity rate over 4%. The city saw one death on Wednesday.

    Bengaluru daily Covid cases cross 1,000-mark; two deaths reported from Karnataka

    Daily Covid cases in Bengaluru city crossed the 1,000-mark Wednesday, with 1,019 cases reported in 24 hours against the 887 on Tuesday. Daily cases in Karnataka were 1,249, which includes 696 backlog cases, according to data from the health department. Two Covid-related deaths were also reported - one from Bengaluru and the other from Chikkamangaluru. There are now 5,707 active cases in Karnataka, of which Bengaluru has a staggering 5,393.

  • Circle officer (Roorkee) Vivek Kumar said they have arrested five people, including the main accused. (Representative image)

    Roorkee: Five arrested for alleged gang rape of woman and her minor daughter

    The Haridwar police on Friday arrested five persons in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 35-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter in a moving car in Roorkee. Circle officer (Roorkee) Vivek Kumar said they have arrested five people, including the main perpetrator of the crime. The opposition Congress also questioned the police and administration for their failure to nab them.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, June 30, 2022