Extortion racket: Patiala jail supdt, 3 other officials dismissed from service
In a first case of its kind, Punjab jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa dismissed from service Patiala jail superintendent Rajan Kapur, two assistant superintendents and a head warder, for running an extortion racket in the prison with the help of gangsters.
The minister also ordered registration of an FIR against the officials and the gangsters at the Organised Crime Control Unit, Mohali, which will investigate the matter further.
The home department has issued orders of dismissal of jail superintendent Rajan Kapur, assistant superintendents Vikas Sharma and Sukhjinder Singh; and head warder Pragan Singh.
IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who conducted an inquiry into the allegations against the said officials, indicted them for running the extortion racket in league with some gangsters. “It was established during investigation that gangster Gourav alias Goru Bacha, along with gangster Amit Malik@ Bhura and Gurjant Bholu were working as de-facto superintendents of Patiala jail under the patronage of the then jail superintendent Rajan Kapur,” summarised the report of Kunwar Vijay Partap.
The inquiry was marked after Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scam, alleged that jail officials and gangsters sexually abused him on camera and then extorted ₹15 lakh from his family. Thakur’s family wrote an email to chief minister’s office and the minister concerned, and an inquiry was marked.
In his report, IG Pratap said, “The entire episode (sex and filming) by gangsters with the victim was smartly managed by assistant superintendents Vikas Sharma and Sukhjinder Singh under the patronage of Rajan Kapur. A sum of ₹15 lakh was extorted by gangster Goru Bacha through hawala and a part of it was paid to Kapur”. They also extorted ₹7 lakh from one Kiranbir Singh Jimmi of Patiala.
During inquiry, many inmates voluntarily gave statements about the extortion racket prevalent in the prison. The IG also listed three mobile numbers and a smart phone used by the gangsters to run the racket.
Principal secretary, jail department, in the dismissal order said, “The unlawful activities on part of Rajan Kapur and the other officials have posed a danger to the security of the nation. Thus it is not reasonable to hold a further inquiry and the said officials are dismissed from service with immediate effect.
Talking to HT, Randhawa said: “It was proven beyond doubt that Kapur was indulging in malpractices. I agree to report submitted by IG, ADGP (jails) and further comments of secretary, jails department, and ordered the dismissals.”