Like hundreds of middle-class families, a bunch of multinational company employees settled in Delhi and its neighbourhood too had invested their hard-earned money in a residential project in Faridabad eight years ago in the hope of owning a home, but the developer never completed the project siphoning off several crores. And when they decided to fight against the injustice, refusing to be bogged down by threats, all of a sudden First Information Reports started cropping up against them at different police stations in far-off Agra.
The first FIR (138/13) at the Saiya police station was registered on November 23 last against Anupam Uppal, consultant with a leading IT technology firm, and Girish Kaul, a Ph.D. degree holder, who works for a reputed education foundation, on charges of duping an Agra resident of Rs.5 lakh in a land deal, trespassing and issuing threats. Both the “accused” are residents of Delhi.
Soon, another FIR was lodged at the Malpura police station on February 13 this year with a harsher charge of attempt-to-murder accusing Faridabad-based Saurabh Saraswat and Delhi residents Sanjay Nagpal and Jitender Thakur of duping a duo of Rs.4 lakh in a land deal and opening fire at them from a country-made pistol.
While Mr. Thakur is an engineer with a Telecom MNC and Mr. Saraswat a technology consultant with a leading US MNC, Mr. Nagpal is a legal advisor and company secretary of a leading mining group.
The coincidence does not end with both the FIRs being lodged in Agra and containing similar charges, all the five “accused” are office-bearers of the 750-member Triveni Faridabad Allottees’ Association (TFAA) that has been waging a legal battle against Triveni Infrastructure Development Co. Ltd. for the past three years seeking possession of their flats in the company’s over-delayed projects in Sector 78 and 89 of Faridabad. Incidentally, the company’s directors Sumit Mittal and Madhur Mittal are also residents of Kamla Nagar in Agra.
All this cannot be a mere coincidence insist the “accused”.
The fact that the FIR No. 138/13 was registered on the order of DIG (Agra Range) hints at the involvement of even senior police officers, the “accused” alleged.
“Ours are not the only cases where FIRs have been filed in Agra against those raising their voice against the builder. An FIR (824/13) on similar charges was lodged against Mahipal Kaushik and Subhash Kaushik, both residents of Faridabad, at the Hariparwat police station again in Agra last year. The two hold flats in Triveni’s Faridabad projects and had got separate FIRs registered against the builder on a local court’s direction last year. Also, an FIR (149/11) was registered against flat holder Nitin Garg at the Chatta police station again in Agra in 2011, but the accusations later turned out to be untrue,” said Mr. Saraswat, talking to The Hindu, adding that there were several such instances.
Claiming innocence, Mr. Saraswat said the “accused” had strong evidence to prove that the charges against them were concocted. The passport records of Mr. Uppal show that he was on a three-month tour of Europe on the said date of crime. As for himself, Mr. Saraswat said: “I was present in office in Gurgaon as per the electronic attendance records and CCTV footage on the said date of crime. In fact, I have not been to Agra for years.”
Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission has also sought a probe into the matter and directed the IG Police (Agar Zone) to conduct an inquiry and submit a report by June 9.