CBI begins probe into Rajbir Singh’s murder (Lead)

June 3rd, 2008 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday took over the probe in the high-profile murder of Delhi Police official Rajbir Singh after the victim’s family complained that the Gurgaon police were not enquiring into the case satisfactorily. The CBI registered a case against the prime accused, property dealer Vijay Bhardwaj. A team inspected his office on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, a suburb on the outskirts of the national capital where he allegedly gunned down Singh on the night of March 24.

“A case has been registered for murder and under the Arms Act. A team of forensic experts reached the scene of crime,” a CBI official said.

The central government handed over the probe to the CBI with a notification May 27 following a recommendation from the Haryana government.

The CBI is likely to move an application before the Gurgaon court for Bhardwaj’s custody.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Singh, 48, was allegedly shot dead by Bhardwaj, who claimed to be Singh’s acquaintance of 20 years. Singh was alone in Bhardwaj’s office when he was killed.

According to the Gurgaon police, Bhardwaj, 42, has said in his confessional statement that he fired two bullets at Singh’s head with a .32 bore revolver which, according to him, Singh had given him three days earlier.

The Haryana government referred the case for a CBI inquiry after Singh’s family cried foul play in the probe by the Gurgaon police.

The Gurgaon police claimed that Singh was killed with a missing revolver of a Hissar police official under a “premeditated conspiracy”.

The CBI will look into various unanswered questions that have so far foxed the Gurgaon police.

The police have not been able to establish the route through which the revolver, belonging to additional superintendent of police Ashok Shoran reached Singh, as claimed by the accused.

The police have been clueless as to why Singh, who enjoyed ‘Z-plus’ security, had asked his security personnel to go away and given the weapon to Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj said Singh had given him the weapon after he had told him about a threat to his (Bhardwaj’s) life.

The CBI will also probe if the murder was the result of a conspiracy.

Singh had earned the reputation of a tough cop, taking on the “dirtiest” cases and solving them - even if it involved extra-judicial methods and violation of the suspects’ basic human rights. He was instrumental in cracking the terror attacks on the parliament complex in 2001 and the Red Fort in 2000.

He was nicknamed “encounter specialist” - a euphemism for a cop who tracks down and kills suspected gangsters and terrorists without due process of law. He had over 50 kills to his credit.

He had joined Delhi Police as a sub-inspector in 1982 and rose to become an assistant commissioner - becoming the only officer in Delhi Police to be promoted to the rank of ACP in just 13 years.

Shunted out of the Crime Branch following his alleged links with a drug mafia and touted as a ‘property grabber’, Singh returned last year as the head of the newly established Special Operation Squad, a dedicated anti-terror cell.

Singh came into the limelight Nov 3, 2002 when he killed two alleged terrorists in the basement of the Ansal Plaza shopping mall in south Delhi.

A man, Hari Krishna, who claimed he saw the deaths labelled it fake. Later, suspicions were raised about the genuineness of the operations supervised by him.

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