STATE TIME Exclusive
Listen how a Police officer from Jammu strikes deal for NDPS detainee’s bail with NRI family in USA
Highly connected Kashmir businessman acts as middleman; tells family how SHO would give ‘clean chit’ to the accused against payment
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz/ Vivek Sharma
JAMMU, May 15: This may not have happened for the first time. This may not be for the last time either. But it does arguably for the first time expose in media how a Police officer in Jammu roped in a Kashmir businessman to strike a deal with an NRI family of Baramulla, settled in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States of America, for the release of their son who has been earlier this year framed in an offence under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).
Rajbeer Singh (24), alongwith his Baramulla neighbourer Sameer Ahmad Mir, is languishing behind the bars in Jammu’s District Jail of Amphalla as his relatives did not pay the Police an amount of “Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh” for his release which allegedly was fixed as the price of issuing a “clean chit”. SHO’s “favourable report” offered to the family would have facilitated Rajbeer’s release on bail and subsequently his reunion with his brother and parents in USA.
Rajbeer and Sameer, alongwith “friend” Joginder of Jammu, were seized with Rajbeer’s car on return from New Delhi to Jammu at Kunjwani Chowk late on March 5, 2016. Joginder was immediately released along with the AC equipment he was carrying in the Rajbeer’s Wagon R, raising suspicions of his secretly working for Police. Rajbeer and Sameer were held in confinement at Police Post Narwal and their “arrest” was not officially disclosed for 48 hours.
Finally, when Rajbeer’s relatives did not pick up the offer of “clean chit” against cash payment to the Police and they began putting pressure from different quarters---an unknown journalist, a BJP leader and IGP’s classmate at school---late on March 7, 2016, SHO Bahu Fort filed case FIR No: 51/2016 under different sections of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act against Rajbeer and Sameer. The Police report did not make any mention of Joginder.
Incharge Police Post Narwal, Sub Inspector Mehmood Khan, who claimed to have arrested Rajbeer and Sameer with 65 bottles of “banned syrup” and 6500 “intoxicating capsules”, contacted businessman friend Haseeb Tramboo for striking a deal for Rajbeer’s release with his relatives. Even after registration of FIR, Tramboo and Khan, at former’s office in Narwal area, continued their efforts to extort money from the NRI family.
Following is the transcript of the 19 minute long telephonic conversation between Haseeb Tramboo and Mehmood Khan (in Jammu) and Rajbeer’s brother Harjot Singh and his brother-in-law Summerpreet Singh Bali of Baramulla (in Cleveland, USA). This conversation, that took place late on March 7, 2016, puts halo on a Police-businessman-criminal nexus that seldom surfaces on newspapers and television channels in Jammu and Kashmir.
Haseeb Tramboo: Helo
Harjot Singh: Helo
HT: Haseeb speaking here
HS: Yes, Haseeb
HT: Here’s the officer of concerned Police Station. Talk to him
Mehmood Khan: Helo
HS: I am Harjot here. Rajbeer’s brother
MK: Yes, it’s OK. Please
MK: What’s Rajbeer to you?
HS: Rajbeer is my brother
MK: OK. Look, whatever had to happen, has happened in it. It was too much highlighted by your relatives here. And they delayed things too much. Now that registration (of FIR) has happened, it’s the matter of bail. You concentrate on the bail. Rest whatever help will be possible at out level, we’ll do
HS: Who are you Sir? I mean, are you from Narwal Police Station?
MK: Yes, yes…
HS: What’s your good name?
MK: (Silence). Don’t you know Haseeb Sahab?
HS: Yes, Haseeb is in our family relation
MK: I am in his family relation and he is in your family relation
HS: Yes, no problem. Please tell me what’s the way out in it. What can we do?
MK: Look, there was a way out but it was too much delayed by your relatives here (in Jammu). It would have been smoothly sorted out on day one. But they highlighted it too much. They are still doing it. Sometimes they rush to this man, sometimes they rush to that man. It’s creating a little problem for him (Rajbeer). I had told them in the very beginning that that the more you highlight it the more it will create a problem for you. You just talk to them how we have to deal with it. Whatever is possible at our level, we’ll do. I have explained all to Haseeb Sahab
HS: Look Sir, we are ready to do anything. If money has to be paid, we’ll do that
MK: No, there’s no issue of money etc. in it. We will see about the money later. Let there be help first [nahi iss mein paise waise ka issue nahi. Paisa tou baad ki baath hai. Pehle help tou hojaye]
HS: Because, I don’t want his life to spoil. It has become a very serious issue for all of us. His mother is in the hospital
MK: OK, you talk to Haseeb Sahab, rest there’s no issue. We’ll do whatever help is possible. Talk to Haseeb Sahab [phone handed over to Haseeb]
HS: Yes Haseeb
HT: Look, I just brought him (Mehmood Khan) out of the Police Station to settle what has to be done and what has not to be done. But the problem is that they (Rajbeer’s relatives in Jammu) go to this man and they go to that man. Sometimes they go to SP South. The more they highlight it, the more it will become difficult. Please make them understand if they want help or not they shouldn’t highlight it. What’s the fun in going to the Press. Have we got to take cudgels with the Police? After all, it’s our man who has landed in the trouble
HS: You tell us what has to be the settlement. (Rajbeer’s) Pictures have come on WhatsApp
HT: You see for yourselves. It’s a simple matter, clear enough that giving a report is in his (Mehmood Khan’s) hand. In short cut, this man (Mehmood Khan) is saying that if I have to give the report in your favour, tell me accordingly. Rest I have told you what he will do. He will prepare a favourable report. We (Police) will not contest the bail. Absolutely, we will not oppose the bail
HS: It’s OK. You know Summer (Harjot’s brother-in-law in Cleveland Summerpreet Singh Bali of Baramulla and Haseeb’s classfellow at school)?
HT: Which Summer?
HS: Summer Bali, whose father you had spoken to. He is here. Talk to him (Harjot passes on phone to Summerpreet)
Summerpreet Singh: Haseeb Bhai Salam
HT: How are you Sir?
SS: Did you get me? I am Summerpreet speaking.
HT: Yes absolutely. How are you?
SS: Look Haseeb Bhai, they are my relatives. You know Pawan is married to me.
HT: Look, I got SHO (Mehmood Khan) out of Police Station two or three times. He was waiting and did not file FIR till 4.00 pm today. I had requested them not to delay the matter. Then there was a crime meeting between the officers and they decided to officially book him. Now (the matter of issuing a favourable) report is in SHO’s hand. SHO is ready to report in the finding that there’s no involvement of Rajbeer in it. But for that favour, we need to provide for him… I have made clear to SHO that we will do his job. He’s still ready for it. But your Mamaji here did a blunder. He went to a journalist who called the SHO and enquired about it. On the other side, SHO received a call from some BJP leader. When all this exposure happens, SHO becomes cautious. Then things proceed as per law. Finally, this matter is against us. I tried my best to make Mamaji understand. I told him this is the matter of give-and-take. Settle it with the SHO and end it here. [iss ke saath lain dain karo aur mamla khattam karo]
SS: We have gone mad with it. You know he is not bad. He does crazy things in friendship. His (Rajbeer’s) interview in America is now very close. Everybody in our family is traumatised, his father, sister…We are ready to do everything. We are ready to spend money. Just this boy should come out. Please ask the IO (Investigating Officer/SHO) what we have to do. This boy should come out……Haseeb Bhai… you can do it
HT: That’s what I am telling you. His trouble will be over when we will manage to get him out on bail. You must make Mamaji understand. We will manage a favourable report from the SHO and file the bail petition. I told them my family firm’s counsel is the top criminal lawyer here. I told them I will bargain with the lawyer. In their presence, I spoke to him on phone in Delhi. I told him that we have to bail out a person. I told him we will manage a favourable report from Police. He said give me the details of the case. I explained to Mama ji and Vinay jo lain dain karna hai woh karo aur mamla khatam karo. They said we will come back in an hour but didn’t return. They didn’t even call.
SS: Is the bail possible in Police custody?
HT: No, not in Police custody. We will have to get the bail only from the court. It’s NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act) case. In such matters, bail application is moved in a court which simultaneously calls a report from the Police. When Police will report that we have investigated and prima facie found that he (Rajbeer) has no involvement and only the other person, or persons, are involved. This is his statement. Hence we don’t have any issue. This person is bailed out. When such a favourable report goes to the court, the judge is left with no option but to grant the bail.
SS: I will speak to Mamaji. They too want that he should come out.
HT: Exactly. But they are overtrying. I talked to SHO and did everything to make Rajbeer’s involvement zero…. He (SHO) is very much ready to give the positive report and clean chit. He is the SHO. He is the IO. Court has to go by his report.
SS: OK, tell me what have we to do. What’s its status? What can happen right now?
HT: Just the SHO has to give a positive report in Rajbeer’s favour. He is ready to give it tomorrow. Tomorrow. Thereafter, you or me have to arrange a lawyer. I told you I have talked to a top criminal lawyer. I stand guarantee that 99% he will get the bail.
SS: Do you mean we will get the report and thereafter file the bail application?
HT: No we will first file the bail application in the court. Court will officially seek the report from Police. That report will be already prepared in our favour. Half of the work, we will keep ready in the background. As soon as the court will seek report, Police will send it immediately by hand and on the basis of that report this case will be put up in the court. There will be short hearing of 5 to 10 minutes, not a long argument and the judge does accept or deny the bail.
SS: OK. Tell us how to proceed further.
HT: I just want Mama ji to meet and settle the matter with this man (Mehmood Khan). Tell him to meet him and bargain the matter with him. When he (SHO) will get his share out of the whole matter, he will be more than happy to help. What’s his problem?
SS: We are desperately looking for someone to help us. Somehow he (Rajbeer) should come out of India and rest with peace even at home in India.
HT: He will walk out. I will personally drop him at Delhi airport. After he is out on bail, I will ensure that he is out of the state.
SS: OK, let him be at his home in Jammu
HT: Yes, why shouldn’t he when he is relieved and bailed out of the matter. He will sit in peace.
SS: Should I send then Mama ji to bargain and settle the matter?
HT: Yes, send Mama ji for bargaining. Problem is that this SHO is getting offended with their behaviour. Even today at 4.00 pm, I had called the SHO and Mama ji and Vinay to my office because it becomes difficult to strike a deal inside Police Station. I thought they will talk face to face and strike the deal. I thought once the SHO is in our hand, our job is done. But they (Mama ji and Vinay) didn’t cooperate.
SS: Did the SHO come to your office?
HT: Yes he did. I arranged their meeting at my office.
SS: OK, its all clear now. I will speak to Mama ji and send him.
HT: You speak to Mama ji. Tell him don’t go here and there. Just concentrate on the main person. Please make him understand that nobody will intervene and help in such matter until he gets a share out of it. Nobody here will help without interest. Everybody will have a motive and try to make some benefit out of it.
SS: OK, I will send Mama ji early in the morning tomorrow.
HT: I say just do it today and don’t leave it for tomorrow. Had they done it yesterday, FIR would not have been registered today. He would have closed this chapter.
HS: I will just speak to Mama ji and tell him to act accordingly.
SS: We will stay in touch. I will call you back in 15 or 20 minutes.
HT: Sure, sure. Don’t worry. Absolutely not.
STATE TIMES IMPACT
SI Mehmood Khan placed under suspension, IGP orders enquiry
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
JAMMU, May 16: Consequent upon the exposure of a deal he attempted to strike for the release of an NDPS detainee Rajbeer Singh, as exclusively published by STATE TIMES in its edition on May 14, incharge of Narwal Police Post (under Bahu Fort Police Station) Sub Inspector Mehmood Khan has been placed under suspension and removed from his posting.
According to order issued by SSP Jammu on May 15, incharge Police Post Gujjar Nagar, Sub Inspector Waseem Meraj, has been appointed as the new head of PP Narwal. He has taken over immediately. SSP, under instruction of IGP Jammu Danish Rana, has ordered an enquiry into Mehmood Khan’s working which would be conducted by Additional SP Chandan Kohli (IPS).
IGP Jammu Mr Danish Rana told STATE TIMES that he took cognizance of an audio clip that was provided to him earlier this month. “When I listened to this audio in a couple of days and it appeared to me that prima facie something serious has occurred, I ordered an inquiry. Yesterday, we placed Sub Inspector Mehmood Khan under suspension and replaced him with another Sub Inspector. We have taken cognizance and will take further action on the basis of the enquiry report”, IGP said.
Published in today’s STATE TIMES