Saturday, December 17, 2005

‘Vested motives did Nani in’

Sujata Nikhalje

By Mateen Hafeez & Somit Sen/TNN

Mumbai: Criminal advocate Satish Maneshinde on Friday alleged that a crime branch officer indicted in an IB (intelligence bureau) report had ‘falsely implicating’ Chhota Rajan’s wife in an extortion case. Rajan is believed to be working for the Indian intelligence agencies.

While Maneshinde did not name the officer, he said he had adequate proof to show that the arrest of Sujata, Rajan’s wife, pointed to ‘vested motives’.

Claiming the extortion charges against her as false and concocted, Maneshinde asked, “If she demanded extortion money in January, 2004, as the police claim, then why did it take them 22 months to register a case?.’’ The advocate, known for representing Sanjay Dutt in the serial blasts case and for appearing for ‘encounter specialist’ Praful Bhosale in Khwaja Yunus case, said, “Even in a small case, the police summon the accused at least
10 times. But, here they chose to directly arrested my client.’’

Indicating that the crime branch cop had deliberately concocted the case, the lawyer said, “The report has been sent to higher authorities and soon you will see action on it.’’

The police are now ascertaining whether Sujata can be booked in the Vicky Malhotra case, in which six persons have already been chargesheeted. Another of top Rajan aides D K Rao was arrested on Thursday. Refuting charges of hounding the gang’s members, deputy police commissioner Dhananjay Kamlakar said, “We have been keeping a surveillance on the gang’s activities for the past few months and have only decided to strike at the right moment.’’

The police are also trying to track down Bharat Nepali, who is believed to be shuttling between Mumbai and Nepal occasionally. The police will also question a few more family members of Rajan in the case.

The Times of India, December 17, 2005

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