Ex UP police officer held in J J Hospital shootout case

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Mumbai, Mar 7 (UNI) The Mumbai police has arrested a former police officer from Uttar Pradesh in connection with the 1992 J J Hospital shootout case in which one person, admitted to the government-run hospital, was gunned down as a fallout of inter-gang rivalry.

Virendra Rai, believed to be the nephew of former Union Minister Kalpanath Rai, was arrested from Varanasi and brought to Mumbai today by the Crime Branch sleuths.

Rai has been arrested for allegedly assisting a co-accused in the shootout case, Brijesh Singh.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ashok Duraphe told UNI that Rai had booked a guest house for Singh in Mumbai just before the shootout incident.

Singh had been arrested by the Delhi police on January 23 this year, in connection with a 2007 extortion case. The city police had taken his custody and had brought him to Mumbai for his alleged involvement in the J J Hospital Shootout case.

Both Rai and Singh were today produced before TADA court judge D U Mulla who remanded them in police custody till March 19.

Rai, incidentally, had nursed political ambitions after resigning from the police force. He had also contested the Assembly elections in 1993 on Congress ticket, in 1996 on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket and in 2001 as an Independent but had been defeated every time.

On September 12, 1992, Shailesh Haldankar of the Gawli gang, was gunned down in the J J Hospital with an AK-47 rifle.

Initially, the police had booked 31 persons and trials were conducted. Singh had been declared as an absconding accused.

Three of the accused were convicted -- Subhash Singh Thakur, who was awarded the death penalty but commuted to life sentence by the Supreme Court, Surya Rao was sentenced to seven years RI, while Shyamkumar Garikar was sentenced to 10 years RI.

UNI ST MAZ PY RK1920

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