How Katara murder was cracked: super cop remembers

May 29th, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by admin  

By S.P. Singh
Ghaziabad, May 28 (IANS) As Vikas and Vishal Yadav were Wednesday convicted for the 2002 murder of Nitish Katara, a super cop of Uttar Pradesh recalled with satisfaction how his team nabbed the two tough customers and cracked the case despite the influential Yadav family’s best efforts. “I remember Feb 17, 2002, when Nitish Katara’s mother Neelam was at the police station. She was worried the accused were very powerful, especially in this region. We instantly registered the case. Her courage was restored and she fought the case with full spirit for six years,” Ashok Kumar Raghav, then superintendent of police for Ghaziabad, said after a Delhi court gave its verdict Wednesday.

“After the case was registered, it was the question of nabbing the suspects, influential politician D.P. Yadav’s son Vikas and nephew Vishal. Raids were conducted at the houses of D.P. Yadav and his brother-in-law Kamal Raj. But the two cousins dodged the police. They got themselves arrested at Dabra town in Madhya Pradesh under the pretext of having live bullets in their pockets,” Raghav told IANS in an interview.

“We faced many hurdles in bringing them here due to inter-state legal hassles. They (the Madhya Pradesh police) wanted their judicial custody while we wanted a transit remand. But we succeeded,” said Raghav.

“A court handed them over to us at about 7.00 p.m. The police remand was granted only for 36 hours and the journey was too long from Dabra to Karnal, from where the vehicle used in the crime was to be recovered,” Raghav said.

“The police jeep was driven at a speed of over 100 km an hour for hours and constables had meals in the running vehicle. About 20 hours were spent in the journey and we could produce the two in a Ghaziabad court. Thank god, we reached the court an hour before the expiry of the custody time,” Raghav said with a smile.

Recovering the body of Nitish also was a Herculean task. “We got a tip-off from the Bulandshahr police that a half-burnt body was lying in a ditch alongside the GT road at Khurja. We took Neelam to the spot where she identified the body as that of her son.”

“Samples were sent to a Hyderabad-based laboratory for DNA tests, but a doctor there went on a leave for a week, which could have delayed procedures. We had to be alert, since the accused had links in Hyderabad,” Raghav said.

“In apprehension that the DNA tests could be tempered with, some samples were secretly diverted to Kolkata for DNA tests that confirmed the body was of Nitish.

“It was also a great job we did smartly by diverting their attention,” a satisfied Raghav said.

“I am satisfied that a mother got justice.”

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