Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 22
A prominent doctor who owns a private hospital reportedly got an extortion call from the accomplice of notorious gangster Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi.
Not the first time
- June 2021: Gangster Preet Sekhon had sought Rs10 lakh from a Canada-based singer whose family lived in Khalchian
- March 2021: A doctor paid an extortion amount of Rs10 lakh to gangsters
- May 2017: An Ajnala-based doctor was kidnapped by gangsters and released after getting ransom
- March 2017: Another prominent doctor on Circular Road reportedly paid the extortion amount
It is total failure of the state machinery as all notorious gangsters are protected by their political bosses. Extortion rackets, involving notorious gangsters and their foreign-based accomplices, are thriving with impunity and it is apparently not in the priority list of the state government and central agencies. The Punjab Police bust 'terror module' every now and then, while it has failed to nail gangsters. Thanks to the political shelter being provided to them. — Sarabjit Singh Verka, activist, Punjab Human Rights Organisation & a prominent lawyer
The police were tight-lipped over this. The Civil Lines police, too, denied having any complaint in this regard. Nevertheless, a senior police official, while confirming the development, said investigations were underway.
Highly placed sources said the doctor got four calls from anonymous numbers. The person demanded Rs1 crore from him. The gangster allegedly threatened him of dire consequences and even harm to his family if the doctor failed to give the extortion amount. The doctor and his family are in extreme shock following this.
Earlier, they preferred not to file a complaint, but later after the relatives insisted, he filed a formal complaint with the police.
Sarabjit Singh Verka, an activist of Punjab Human Rights Organisation and a prominent lawyer, said it was total failure of the state machinery as all notorious gangsters were protected by their political bosses.
“Extortion rackets, involving notorious gangsters and their foreign-based accomplices, are thriving with impunity and it is apparently not in the priority list of the state government and central agencies,” said Verka, adding that the Punjab Police bust ‘terror module’ every now and then, while it has failed to nail gangsters. Thanks to the political shelter being provided to them. Such cases are likely to increase in the near future as the term of the Punjab Government was coming to an end and Assembly elections were just round the corner, he said.
Evidently, doctors and traders are soft targets of extortionists as they prefer not to lodge complaints. If any case is registered, complainants do not fight in court and culprits go scot-free.
This also came to light when the State Special Operation Cell had arrested a prominent UP leader while looking for a notorious gangster in 2017. A number of doctors had then recorded their statements before the investigating team about extortion calls from gangsters. However, during re-investigation, they either did not appear before the SIT or denied giving any statement.
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