AFZAL GUROO- VICTIM OF FARCE INVESTIGATION?

There is no denying the fact that the attack on the Indian Parliament was the most serious challenge to Indian democracy and if it had been successful it would have had very long term consequences not only for India but for the entire region. Precisely for this reason it was imperative that the police and investigation agencies should have carried out an honest and vigorous investigation into the crime. Instead, the investigation agencies did a shoddy investigation, fabricated evidence and manipulated the  sentiments of people by telling lies through the Media which culminated in surreptitious hanging of Afzal Guroo on 9th February 2013.

Consider the fact  that the so-called comprehensive investigation  of the attack on Parliament was completed in 17 days flat by the investigating Agency — the Special Cell of the Delhi Police team  headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rajbir Singh. Since the quality & outcome of investigation depends much on the character of the investigator as also the tools & methods employed by him during the  process of investigation, it is, therefore of importance to know who this Rajbir Singh Was?

 

Rajbir Singh joined the Delhi Police  in 1982 as a sub-inspector who finally made his way to become an ACP. He is the only officer in the Delhi police history to be promoted to the rank of ACP in just 13 years. He came into the limelight on November 3, 2002 when he claimed to have  killed two  alleged ‘terrorists’ in an encounter in the basement of the Ansal Plaza shopping Mall in south Delhi. A man, Dr. Hari Krishna, who claimed he saw the deaths, labelled it fake encounter. According to his version, ACP Rajbir Singh brought the two alleged terrorists  in the basement alive  and killed them  in cold blood. The eye-witness, Mr. Hari krishna was so hounded & harassed by  Rajbir Singh and his cohorts that he had to go in hiding without leaving a trace till date. After this incident Rajbir Singh was touted as an “Encounter specialist”

In his early career, Rajbir Singh   served for six years with the Delhi Police special cell but was soon shunted out to an insignificant post in the Delhi Armed Police (DAP) and later to the traffic department after tapes of his  conversations with a contractor on a land deal were revealed. Thereafter during his stint in the crime branch of Delhi Police,  his  links with a drug mafia also came to fore where-after he was shunted out. In the Department & outside he was usually referred to  as a ‘property grabber’. The Delhi High Court also issued notices to him on charges that he and his colleagues manhandled some people in west Delhi’s Kirti Nagar in connection with a property dispute.

Rajbir’s alleged links with a drug trafficker also came to be known after a telephonic conversation between him & Drug Mafia – tapped by the narcotics wing – was made available to the media. An inquiry headed by the joint commissioner of police (Vigilance) was ordered but Rajbir let off for unknown & unexplainable reasons. He arrested one Mr. Devender Singh, a known exporter of dry fruits, in 2005 from Anupam restaurant in Munirka. Five and a half kilograms of cocaine was allegedly seized from the Amritsar-based businessman’s possession. According to Mr. Devender Singh, he was framed by  Rajbir Singh for his refusal to pay a hefty sum of Rs. 50 lacs as extortion money.

In 2008, on  March 20, ACP Rajbir Singh was shot dead by his friend & partner, Mr. Vijay Bhardwaj, a property dealer of Gurgaon over a dispute on "investments" he had made with the realtor. In his  statement , the accused  Bhardwaj, confessed, among other things, that he was unable to re-pay Rajbir  the money invested in shoddy land deals and the Gun used in the killing, with apparent marking “E-8256”,   was given to him by Rajbir singh to help recover money from his business clients. Further enquiries revealed that   the serial number of the revolver used in the murder of Rajbir was tampered with and that its real number was “A-1031.” The said revolver was issued by the Kanpur ordnance factory on February 26, 1993, and allotted to the ASP (Hissar) from where it was reported stolen in a police encounter.

This is the character of Rajbir Singh,  who claimed to have cracked the Parliament attack case in just seventeen days and implicated Mohammad Afzal Guroo as the brain behind the conspiracy. During the media trial of the Parliament case held at Lodhi Road, he snubbed Afzal Guroo for speaking something contrary to what he had been directed to. This was noted by Shamas Tahir, reporter of AAJ TAK, who later testified it before the court.

The most unfortunate thing is that the trial Court believed his version  when many details of his  dubious & illegal dealings were already in public domain. Though the confession extracted from Afzal was finally set aside by the Supreme court, the death penalty was upheld to satisfy the collective conscience of Indian public.

(The author is a practicing Chartered Accountant-E mail: abdulmajidzargar@gmail.com)