New Delhi, June 6 : Three Indian convicts wanted in various cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping were extradited from South Africa to New Delhi on Friday following assurance by the Indian authorities that they would not be sentenced to death.
A team of police officials from Haryana took custody of the convicts in New Delhi upon their arrival from Johannesburg.
The three accused Baljeet Singh, Joginder Singh and Surender Kumar are part of a notorious gang active in Haryana who had fled to South Africa in 2006 after murdering a businessman when he refused to comply with their extortion demands.
The police have already arrested 32 members of the gang and were on a lookout for these three. After much hard work and running around, the police were able to get the South African police to arrest them.
"Three members of the gang, namely, Baljeet Singh, Joginder Singh and Surender Kumar had fled to South Africa in July 2006, and were making extortion calls to India from there. After they ran off to South Africa we pursued them there and intimated the South African police on their whereabouts. We also got Red Corner Notices issued against them from the Interpol. Finally on January 31, 2007, South African police arrested and detained them," said Navdeep Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Kaithal.
The South African government, however, handed over the three convicts to the Indian government after taking an undertaking that there will be no death penalty.
"As far as the death penalty is concerned, Indian government gave us an undertaking that there will be no death penalty. Under those conditions, South Africa proceeded and they consented the extradition," said Zeimen, Superintendent, Crime, Johannesburg.
Among the three convicts, Baljeet Singh is wanted in ten cases of murder and extortion and is already facing a life term in a case. The other Joginder Singh also has nine cases of kidnap, murder and extortion against him and the third, Surender Kumar is wanted in one case of extortion and murder.