ADG A.K. Jain is a proclaimed offender in a 2006 fake encounter case
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday announced a cash reward of Rs.10 lakh to anyone who provided information leading to the arrest of a serving Rajasthan police official absconding in relation to a 2006 fake encounter killing case. The 1978 batch IPS officer, Additional Director-General A.K. Jain, is a proclaimed offender.
This is the first time a cash reward has been announced for the arrest of a senior IPS officer.
Besides Mr. Jain, the CBI also announced Rs.5 lakh each for aiding the arrests of Police Inspectors Rajesh Chowdhury and Zulfikar, and Assistant Sub-Inspector Arvind.
In a charge sheet filed last year in June, the CBI had alleged that Dara Singh, a liquor smuggler, was illegally taken into custody by the special operations group (SOG) officials from Jaipur Airport, taken to a lonely place near Amber and kept hostage till October 23, 2006, when he was killed.
“The circumstantial evidence shows clearly that Dara [Singh] was murdered in cold blood by the SOG personnel and the same was duly monitored by ADG Police A.K. Jain, Superintendent of Police SOG A. Ponnuchammi and Additional SP Arshad Ali, along with other officials and during this entire period Rajendra Rathore [a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLA] was on telephonic touch with Mr. Jain,” the charge sheet said.
The police, however, had claimed Dara Singh was attempting to flee when he was shot.
The CBI got Mr. Jain declared as a proclaimed offender after he did not turn up for the hearing despite several summonses having been sent to his residence.
The charge sheet had named 16 police officials, including Mr. Jain and Mr. Ponnuchammi, besides Mr. Ali, Inspectors Nisar Khan and Naresh Sharma, Assistant Sub-Inspector Surendra Singh and Sub-Inspector Satyanarayan Godara, among others.
Of the 16, 10 are absconding. Among the top officials, Mr. Ponnuchammi is the only one under judicial custody.
The arrested policemen include Mr. Khan, Mr. Sharma, Mr. Godara and Surendra Singh. The accused have been slapped with charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and kidnapping, among others.
The CBI alleged that there was animosity between BJP MLA Mr. Rathore over supporting rival gangs of liquor smugglers. Dara Singh operated in Rajasthan and Haryana and faced several cases including attempt to murder and smuggling.
“There were two rival liquor mafias in Churu and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan. One was headed by Sumer Singh Fagediya and included Vijendra Singh, alias Tilaia, and Dara Singh. The other group, ruled by one Virender Singh Nyangli, was protected by the then BJP Minister and present MLA Rajendra Singh Rathore,” the charge sheet said.
“The animosity between Vijendra Singh, Dara Singh and Rajendra Rathore increased in 2003-2005 and even turned into personal animosity. Mr. Rathore even tried to reopen a false case against Dara Singh and his aide Vijendra Singh in December 2005,” it noted.
Dara Singh was allegedly killed by the SOG in a fake encounter on October 23, 2006, in Rangendra Prasad Nagar area on the outskirts of Jaipur.
While having named Mr. Rathore in the charge sheet, alleging that he had a “strong motive and selfish interest” in the murder, the CBI did not name him as an accused.