Millennium Post

Did Tihar inmate plot murder of Delhi rapists?

In the national capital of the country being behind bars is no bar for criminals, it seems. Amit Shukla, the prime accused in the high-profile murders of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan and MNC employee Jigisha Ghosh, had threatened to kill the 16 December gang rape accused. Sources tell us the criminal had been operating his gang from within Tihar jail without any apparent problems.

According to a highly-placed source in the Special Cell, the mobile phone used by Shukla in jail was kept on surveillance for about a month. ‘During this period, two numbers were frequently contacted. When these numbers were traced, it was found that one of them belonged to one Arun Kumar, 27, a compounder at Tihar jail. The user of the other number lives in Mumbai. His identity has been withheld,’ said the source.

Kumar was arrested on 28 January from Mukund Vihar. He was booked for arranging a mobile phone and SIM card for Shukla and also for taking extortion money from many who were threatened by Shukla from inside the jail. The phone was later confiscated. The story was published by Millennium Post.

The conversation between Shukla and the Mumbai-based person, Rahul (name changed), was recorded by the Special Cell sleuths a couple of weeks ago.

The source said that Shukla had told Rahul that within the next two days, the five accused in the gang rape case will be killed while being produced at Saket court. ‘A person was assigned the task to arrange for a revolver, which was to be delivered to someone in court, where he would have shot the accused,’ he added.

The Special Cell immediately informed the authorities concerned at Tihar jail to increase the security of the five accused. The security of the sixth accused, a juvenile, was also stepped up. Earlier, the five accused were also beaten up by Tihar inmates.

After the extortion racket was busted, Special Cell had taken a production warrant for Shukla to interrogate him again. That warrant has now expired and Shukla is back in Tihar jail. A few officials have been deployed to keep a watch on him round-the-clock.

Shukla was involved in the brutal murder of television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan in south Delhi in March 2009. In the same year, Shukla and associates kidnapped 28-year-old Ghosh and later her body was found dumped at Surajkund in Faridabad.

But why would Shukla want to murder the five accused in the gang rape? ‘Even among hardened criminals, rapists are really hated,’ the source said.
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