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Custody of five Rajasthan Police officers extended

Bapun Raz

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Jaipur, May 26: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here has extended till June 7 the judicial custody of five policemen, including Inspector General (IG) A. Ponnuchami, accused of the killing criminal Dara Singh in an allegedly fake gunfight in October 2006, their lawyer said.





Ajay Kumar Jain, the accused police officers' advocate, said that the five police officers - Ponnuchami, inspectors Nisar Khan and Naresh Sharma, assistant sub-inspector Surendra Singh and sub-inspector Satyanarayan Godara - were brought to the special CBI court amid heavy security.

"The court has extended their judicial custody till June 7," Jain said.

Meanwhile, the CBI sought more time for filing charge sheet against the accused police officers as "certain crucial links establishing the criminal conspiracy are further required to be re-confirmed".

The court will take the matter for hearing May 30.

Ponnuchami, a 1991 batch Indian Police Service officer, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) May 15.

He is one of the two IPS officers accused in the case in which Dara Singh was allegedly killed in a staged shootout by a special operations group (SOG) team of Rajasthan Police on Jaipur's outskirts Oct 23, 2006.

Besides Ponnuchami, Additional Director General (ADG) of Police A.K. Jain is an accused in the case.

However, Jain, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Arsad Ali and seven other police officers Rajesh Choudhary, Subash Godara, Zulfikar, Arvind, Badri Prasad, Jagraj and Sardar Singh have gone missing or underground fearing arrest. The court has issued arrest warrants against all of them.

Sikar remained the den of Dara Singh until he was killed near Jaipur. His widow registered a case at Mansarovar police station in Jaipur against four police officers, including Jain and A. Ponnuchami, and alleged that the shootout was staged.

The Supreme Court in the first week of January slammed the CBI for slow pace of investigations and directed it to submit a status report in the case.


--IANS
 
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