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Angadia extortion case: ‘vital link’ between accused cops held in Lucknow

A team from the Mumbai Crime Branch on Saturday arrested a person from Lucknow in the angadia extortion case. He is likely to be arrested and arraigned in court on Sunday.

Sources said he was a vital link between Inspector Om Vangaate, who was arrested, and wanted DCP defendant Saurabh Tripathi. Meanwhile, in their investigation into angadia’s extortion case, Mumbai police recorded the statement of an intermediary, saying that through him, Rs 1.5 lakh collected from angadias was passed on from Vangate to a suspect.

Vangaate, who has also been suspended, was arrested earlier this month. He was presented before the metropolitan court of first instance on Saturday. The police requested additional custody on several grounds, including that the investigation revealed that an intermediary had been paid Rs 1.5 lakh by Vangaate, to be paid to a suspect.

As police sought to keep him in custody, the court sent Vangaate into custody until March 23. Two other defendants arrested earlier in connection with the case are also in custody until March 23.

Tripathi’s early bail plea, filed through attorneys Aniket Nikam and Vivek Arote, says he was not named in the initial investigation by the additional police commissioner.

Tripathi’s plea says he was also not named in the FIR as there was no evidence to show he was connected to the case in any way. The plea further states that Tripathi had no connection with the angadias and that there was no evidence to show that he had asked for or received any money. Tripathi was named as a fugitive earlier this week.

A complaint filed by the Angadia Association of Bhuleshwar had alleged that Tripathi demanded Rs 10 lakh per month from them as a bribe to enable them to run their business. The complaint initially named three police officers, saying evidence showed money was being extorted from angadias. Tripathi was transferred from Zone II to DCP (Operations) after the filing of the FIR. He was on sick leave. His plea for early release will be heard next week.