National

Gangster Bajrangi murder: Pistol, bullets smuggled into jail

Lucknow, Jul 11 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 7/11/2018 11:21:22 PM IST
Police believe that the pistol and bullets used to murder gangster Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi may have been smuggled into the Baghpat district jail in food packets meant for rival Sunil Rathi.
“Initial investigation clearly suggests that a pistol, two magazines and multiple cartridges were smuggled into the premises in these packets as there are no CCTV cameras or metal detectors installed at the prison’s entrance,” a senior IPS officer privy to the investigation said.
Rathi – a murder convict serving life imprisonment – enjoyed the privilege of getting food packets and other items of everyday use from external agents without the court’s permission, the IPS officer said, adding that the aides who supplied these articles did not even jot down their names in the visitors’ register.
According to the officer, the Baghpat jail authorities were unable to check the food packets due to an acute staff shortage. The facility has only 33 staffers – including the jailor and three deputy jailors – to oversee as many as 816 inmates.
Bajrangi was taken to the Baghpat district jail for a court hearing despite his wife, Seema Singh, holding a press conference at Lucknow on June 29 to declare that his life would be in danger there. The gangster’s lawyer, Vikas Srivastava, condemned the manner in which officials took him to the prison despite repeated requests that the court hearing be conducted through video conferencing. “Most of the inmates of Baghpat jail are supporters of Rathi. Either the jail personnel supported Rathi or were afraid of him. Interestingly, six other inmates who had earlier confronted Rathi in Baghpat jail were transferred to different district jails on the recommendation of the then jailor Uday Pratap Singh a few months ago,” he said.
A police inspector posted in Baghpat admitted that Rathi, a local resident, enjoys considerable clout in the jail. “There have been many reports of the gangster making extortion calls from prison in the past,” he added.
A senior police officer said considerable planning seemed to have gone into Bajrangi’s murder. “When questioned, Rathi admitted that he took a bath and washed his clothes immediately after executing the murder. The pistol used for the crime was thrown into an eight-foot-deep drain on the premises in an attempt to wash off his fingerprints,” a police officer said.
The weapon, besides two magazines and 22 cartridges, were recovered from the drain after a marathon search of over nine hours. “There is a very low probability of us finding any fingerprints or gunpowder on the pistol,” the officer admitted.

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