Court effect: Third main accused in Clementown house demolition case also held
Dehradun , May 22
The third accused in the infamous house demolition case of a deceased retired naval officer in Clementown area of Dehradun was nabbed by the Uttarakhand police today from New delhi. According to Uttarakhand police Mona Randhawa daughter of Satpal Singh, one of the main accused in the case was nabbed by the Special Task Force formed in the case from Nand Nagar in Dilshad Garden area of New Delhi on Saturday. She was absconding since January 2022 and carried a reward of Rs.30,000 for her arrest. Two other main accused namely Amit Yadav and Saurab Kapoor, a lawyer were apprehended by the police on May 19, 2022.
Interestingly, the arrests in the case were made within hours of Uttarakhand High court issuing notices to the state government and senior police officials on the alleged inaction of the police in apprehending main accused in the case. The High Court issued notices to the state government and police on May 18,2022.
The Police had announced cash rewards on the three main alleged accused in the case namely Amit Yadav, Saurab Kapoor, a lawyer and Mona Randhawa but were unable to nab them in the past four months. Interestingly, the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttarakhand police arrested Amit Yadav and Saurab Kapoor from Uttar Pradesh on May 19,2022.
Nainital High court had issued notices to state Home Secretary, Director General of Police (DGP), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dehradun, Station House Officer (SHO),Clementown, Dehradun and Investigation Officer returnable on May 26, 2022,in the bizarre case of house demolition, on a criminal writ petition filed by Kusum Kapoor, the victim in the case.
Kusum Kapoor filed the petition WPCRL 932/2022,u/s 482 Cr.PC as a complainant in the FIR no.0008/2022,u/s 452,447,427,323,506,395,397,448,412,34 IPC registered at Clementown police station, alleging weak investigation and failure of the state police to arrest the main accused despite four months. In her petition she charged that she had complained to all the senior officials including approaching the State Police Complaint Authority but the three main accused in the case are not yet arrested.
Justice Alok Kumar Verma of the Uttarakhand High court at Nainital on May 18, 2022 heard Hari Mohan Bhatia, the counsel of the petition and Pratiroop Pandey, the state government counsel. The state government counsel requested one week’s time to get instructions regarding the present status of the investigation. On the request of both the parties, the court fixed the next hearing for May 26, 2022.
It was on January 12, 2021 that a British era house of a deceased naval officer in Clementown area of Dehradun city was razed to the ground and all the belongings looted by the land mafia in alleged connivance with the police when the owner was away. Kusum Kapoor, wife of the deceased naval officer was residing in the said property with her mentally challenged daughter and had gone to NOIDA on January 7, 2022 for some work when her house was raided and demolished.
Kusum Kapoor was informed by her neighbours on telephone on January 12, 2022 that her house is being demolished with the help of JCB machines and tractors. Giving details of her property, she informed that the maternal uncle of her husband Mohinder Malik had purchased the property in 1996 and allowed her husband Commander V.K. Kapur to reside and look after the property.
Kusum Kapoor said that on getting information about the incident she contacted local police official on phone who assured her of action but to her shock and surprise when she reached Dehradun after five hours , the demolition was going on brazenly. On reaching the police station, The incharge of Clementown police station ,Narendra Gehlot rebuked the hapless women and threatened to register cases against them and did not help. In absence of any relief, she went to the residence of Senior Superindent of Police ,Dehradun Janmejay Khanduri on January 13, 2022 where she had to wait for four hours to get an audience with the district police chief. She was asked to come to the office the next day. She had to again wait till evening from morning to meet the SSP. He assured to inquire into the issue and did nothing.
Finally, after running from pillar to post, she finally went to meet Ashok Kumar, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand who ordered an inquiry into the case and ordered that a case be registered against the alleged culprits. Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar had suspended Narendra Gehlaut, the Incharge of the Clementown police station for dereliction of duty.
In the month of February, 2022, after running from pillar to post, the two hapless women were again assured by the DGP Ashok kumar who formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case to expedite investigation. Akshay Kode, SP ( traffic), IPS and Rekha Yadav, an IPS officer from Haridwar have been appointed as members of the SIT but to no avail.
Seven persons have been arrested by the police in the case. Uttarakhand police announced cash rewards on three main accused namely Amit Yadav, saurab kapoor and Mona Randhawa in the month of March, 2022 but failed to nab them till intervention of High Court. Interestingly, all the seven who were arrested also got bail from the court. The case has shocked the civil society and the retired defence personnel throughout the country.