Restaurant encounter: Police team transferred, vigilance probe launched

Restaurant encounter: Police team transferred, vigilance probe launched

Nine policemen, who were part of the team which had gunned down Manoj Vashishth in an alleged encounter at a city restaurant on Saturday night, were today transferred after the deceased's family expressed concern that they may influence probe.

The city police top brass also launched a vigilance probe into the case which is separate from the SIT and magisterial inquiries already underway.

The decision was taken after Vashishth's widow Priyanka and other family members, who are alleging that he was killed in a fake encounter, met Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi and demanded a fair probe into the case.

Vashishth's family met the Police Commissioner at his office at Police Headquarters here this morning and shared their grievances. Bassi sympathised with them and assured of an impartial investigation in the case, officials said.

Following the assurances, Vashishth's family agreed to cremate his body. They had earlier refused to accept the body from the morgue.

"On family's demand that the team's members should be transferred so that they cannot affect probe, nine members of the team which had carried out the operation in which Vashishth was gunned down have been transferred," said Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat.

The Police Commissioner has also ordered a vigilance inquiry into the case to probe family's allegations that the policemen were trying to extort money from Vashishth (45).
Meanwhile, the SIT is examining seven CCTV footages that were installed inside the restaurant.

It will also record the statements of 40 eye-witnesses who were present at the time of the encounter. Out of 40 people, many were identified and have been questioned.

Inspector Dharmender Kumar, who was leading the team which had raided Sagar Ratna restaurant in New Rajinder Nagar on Saturday night to nab Vashishth, has been transferred to IGI Airport.


The other members of the team which was transferred are-- SI Vivek Singh who was sent to PCR, SI Bhoop Singh to First battalion Delhi Armed Police, HC Sanjay Pal Singh to third battalion Delhi Armed Police, HC Anil Rao to PTC, Constable Jitendra Kumar to 7th battalion Delhi Armed Police, Constable Abdul Ahed Khan to PTC, Jharoda, Constable Mohit Salve to Security and Constable Munish Solanki has been sent to Prov and Log department.

Vashishth, who was wanted in several cases of fraud and other crimes, was hit by a bullet in the gun-fight with the nine-member team of Special Cell of Delhi Police on Saturday.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead.
CCTV footage of the encounter which was released by the police yesterday had showed two policemen getting into a scuffle with Vashishth before he slumps after being shot.
The poor quality of the footage does not establish Delhi Police's claim that Vashishth had first fired shots and police retaliated.

The 29-second grainy clip shows two policemen in plain clothes walking up to Vashishth at 8:15 PM in the restaurant in New Rajender Nagar area. Vashishth is seen sitting in the middle of the restaurant with several people.

As soon as Vashishth sees the police, a scuffle breaks out and the policemen are seen trying to pin him down.

Although, due to the poor quality of the footage, firing of shots could not be seen or heard, Vashishth is seen collapsing on the ground while other guests of the restaurant try to flee.

A preliminary post-mortem report of Vashishth revealed that he died of the bullet which hit him in the head.

Police had claimed that seeing him fire shots from his licenced revolver, a constable had fired on him in a bid to incapacitate him which led to his death.

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