The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad has arrested five persons for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to extort Rs 8 crore from a retired Indian Police Service officer by preparing and circulating a false affidavit to claim he had raped a woman, an ATS official said on Monday.
The accused have been identified as mastermind G K Parajapati, his aides Haresh Jadav and Mahendra Parmar and Gandhinagar-based journalists Ashutosh Pandya and Kartik Jani, the official said.
The ATS swung into action after the woman’s affidavit, claiming that a senior IPS officer, who is now retired, had raped her at his residence in Chandkheda area of the city, went viral on social media platforms recently, ATS Superintendent of Police Sunil Joshi said.
As per the affidavit signed by the 33-year-old married woman, the former cop had raped her twice in the guise of helping her with a criminal case registered against her brother.
The woman, who had signed the affidavit, filed a rape case against one Ismail Malek at Pethapur police station of Gandhinagar in January this year, the ATS official said. ”Some time back, Malek allegedly took the woman to a man living in Chandkheda and told her that he is a very senior police officer and he can bring her brother out of jail. During our questioning, the woman told us the man raped her twice by promising to help her. However, as directed by Prajapati, she did not mention about this episode in her complaint against Malek, who is now behind bars,” Joshi said.
Prajapati along with Jadav and Parmar hatched a conspiracy to extort money from the retired IPS officer and convinced the woman to sign the affidavit, in which they had written the name of the former cop without the woman’s knowledge, he said.
After preparing the affidavit, in which the woman claimed she was raped by the former police officer at his residence, the trio first tried to approach him through some middlemen and also through other officers in a bid to blackmail him and extort Rs 8 crore, Joshi said.
When they failed to create any pressure on him, the trio contacted Pandya and Jani, who claimed to be working as reporters in Gandhinagar, to circulate as well as publish the affidavit, the ATS official said.
All the five accused were handed over to Sector-7 police in Gandhinagar for further investigation, he said.
They were booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 389 (putting a person in fear of accusation of offence in order to commit extortion) and 120B (criminal conspiracy), the official said.