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Held guilty, but set free

A CRPF jawan, who lost his job after being arrested for extortion charges and spent six months in jail pending trial, walked free on Monday after the court ruled he had served his time for his crime.

Bablu Prasad Gupta, a resident of Azadnagar in Mango, was arrested on October 24, 2011, after Fateh Bahadur Singh, a leading neurosurgeon of the city, lodged a complaint with police.

On Monday, the court of first class judicial magistrate A.K. Dubey found him guilty of trying to extort money from the doctor under Section 3 of the offenders act and awarded him a sentence of six and a half months. However, as the convict had already served the period behind bars at Ghaghidih Central Jail during trial, he was let off with an admonishment.

According to sources, Bablu had demanded Rs 5 lakh as rangdaari from Singh, who is associated with Tata Main Hospital. He had called up the surgeon twice — on October 19 and 21, 2011. The convict even sent two SMSes to Singh, threatening him with dire consequences if he failed to cough up the sum, prompting the latter to approach Bistupur police.

However, during investigations, police found that the SIM that Bablu had used to call up the doctor did not belong to him but was registered in the name of one Anil Kumar Gupta.

Sources claimed that the court would have handed him a more stringent sentence had the police investigated the case properly and proved that the calls were indeed made by Bablu and not Anil.

However, inspector at Bistupur police station Arun Kumar Rai denied the allegations, saying that the police did their job efficiently.

“We have established that it was Bablu who had made the calls to the surgeon, demanding money. But as far as the sentence is concerned, it is the court’s discretion,” Rai told The Telegraph.