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Thug Life: Police Lens on Former Top Tihar Officials Who Helped Conman Live It Up in Jail, Run Racket

Conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar was running an extortion racket worth Rs 200 crore from inside the Tihar jail.  (File photo: News18 Tamil)

Conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar was running an extortion racket worth Rs 200 crore from inside the Tihar jail. (File photo: News18 Tamil)

Sources say arrested jail staffers have revealed a few names, including those of some officials in jail headquarters. Several of them have retired and held top positions when Sukesh Chandrashekhar was imprisoned in 2017.

Retired top-level officials of Tihar Jail, which is also the headquarters of Delhi prisons, are under the scanner of the city police as their role would be probed in a case linked to conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar. According to a top Delhi police officer, arrested jail staff have revealed a few names, including those of some officials in jail headquarters. Several of them have retired and held top positions when Sukesh was arrested and incarcerated in 2017.

It has been learnt that Delhi police commissioner Rakesh Asthana had met Tihar director general Sandeep Goel this week and discussed various issues including the involvement of jail officials.

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Those arrested have revealed the names of almost a dozen jail officials who used to get money via them from Sukesh to run his racket from Delhi jail.

This month alone, Delhi police has arrested five jail officials for allegedly helping Sukesh in his extortion racket.

“We will probe the roles of senior to top-level officers in jail authorities including those who have retired as well. The action would be taken as per the confession of arrested jail officials who helped Sukesh in extorting money from Aditi Singh, wife of Fortis healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh,” sources told News18.

The charges

Delhi police has filed a charge sheet in the case and slapped multiple charges, including cheating and criminal conspiracy. Delhi police economic offences wing (EOW) has also added provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

The EOW in its charge sheet has written that Sukesh and co-accused Leena Paul used hawala trading to park extorted money, sources said.

To probe the money laundering aspect, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act has also registered a case and arrested Sukesh and other accused.

Jail no bar

“He was living in jail like a king. It seems all officials of Rohini jail were involved because of the facilities given to him. An entire barrack vacant of all other inmates was given to him. He had covered the CCTV cameras as well. He was freely using his mobile to run the extortion racket for a year,” Singh told ANI.

The news agency also reported that Singh said jail officers were arrested for assisting Chandrashekhar in his crimes, who would send them at least Rs 1 crore a month via hawala dealers and money carriers.

“There was involvement from jail officials across all levels in the crime,” he added.

ALSO READ | Jacqueline Fernandez Denies Dating Sukesh Chandrashekhar, Calls Reports ‘Slanderous’

Starry claims

Chandrashekhar had made a sensational claim in front of the media outside the Patiala House Courts when he was produced there in a case by the Enforcement Directorate. When journalists asked Sukesh that had he gifted a car to actress Nora Fatehi, he replied in the affirmative and asked the reporters to contact the dancing star for more.

Later the actress issued a statement saying, “Nora Fatehi has been the victim in the case and being a witness, she is co-operating and helping the officers in the investigation. We would like to make it very clear that she has not been a part of any money laundering activity, she does not know or have any personal connection with the accused and has been called by the ED to strictly help with the investigation.”

Lawyer Anant Malik, who represents Chandrashekhar made an astounding claim a few weeks ago about the conman’s connection with Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, and said, “Jacqueline and Sukesh were dating, these are my instructions, this is straight from the horse’s mouth.”

Jacqueline later issued a statement, saying, “Jacqueline Fernandez is being called to testify as a witness by the ED. She has duly recorded her statements and in future will also be completely cooperating with the agency in the investigations. Jacqueline also categorically denies alleged slanderous statements made about her relationship with the involved couple.”

Political links

Sources in Delhi police who interrogated Sukesh told News18 that the conman had told sleuths that he had plans to contest elections in 2024.

During investigation it was revealed that Sukesh had facilitated a few accused in a Bengaluru jail as well. Cops are investigating his claims. Sukesh also took the name of a politician who got help from him when the leader was jailed.

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first published:November 18, 2021, 08:00 IST