The eleventh person arrested for suspected involvement in the sensational cash van heist in Defence Colony here this past month has turned out to be a young woman lawyer. The police claim to have recovered a part of the stolen money from her.
The police have identified the accused as 27-year-old Jyoti Batra, at whose instance they have purportedly seized Rs.80 lakh.
She was the advocate of Deepak Sharma, the first person and brother of the alleged mastermind to be arrested in connection with the cash van robbery, in a murder case reported in R. K. Puram in 2005.
“In that case, Deepak along with three others, including his brother Hari Kishan, were accused of having murdered a person,” said a police officer.
During interrogation, Deepak purportedly told the interrogators that he had given a bag containing cash to his advocate Jyoti Batra, a resident of Raghubir Nagar in Khyala. Subsequently the police raided her premises and allegedly recovered Rs.70 lakh from Raghubir Nagar and Chanakya Place. Some slips of the bank from where the money was being transported to a cash replenishment agency on the fateful day have also been recovered, said the police.
“At her instance, Rs.10 lakh was recovered from her college friend Pawan Sharma, a resident of Mandawali, who disclosed that she had handed over the cash to him for safekeeping claiming that some income tax issues had cropped up and that she apprehended searches by the I-T Department at her residence,” the officer said.
“The lawyer, who has graduated from a Greater Noida college, practices in Rohini court. After working under some senior lawyers, she started her independent practice. She had become friendly with accused Deepak, who frequented her house and treated her as his sister.”
Investigations first led the police to zero in on Deepak, who was arrested in Pushp Vihar and subsequently they purportedly recovered Rs.1.51 crore of the stolen cash and a 9 mm firearm from his residence. In a follow-up action, ten more persons including alleged beneficiaries, recipients of stolen property and also those directly involved in the case have been arrested so far. Among those arrested include Hari Kishan and his wife.
Another alleged key member named Vijay was arrested at Palwal in Haryana. The police had earlier recovered Rs.86 lakh from his relatives Tek Chand and Krishan Kumar, who have also been booked.
The police claim to have recovered Rs.3.50 crore from the accused persons and suspect that the rest of the money is in the possession of the absconding gang members. In all Rs. 5.25 crore was stolen.