Gujarat: ATS Raids Former Police Inspector’s Residence In Junagadh Bribery Scandal

Gujarat: ATS Raids Former Police Inspector’s Residence In Junagadh Bribery Scandal

Bhatt, a former police inspector with a history of controversy, is currently underground after a case was registered against him and two other officers on January 26th

FPJ BureauUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 07:00 PM IST
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Taral Bhatt |

The Junagadh bribe and extortion case, involving three police officers accused of demanding ₹25 lakh from a Kerala businessman, has taken a dramatic turn with the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat initiating a state-wide search for the absconding prime accused, Taral Bhatt. On Thursday, the ATS raided a residence linked to Bhatt in Ahmedabad, sending shockwaves through the police force.

Bhatt, a former police inspector with a history of controversy, is currently underground after a case was registered against him and two other officers on January 26th. The FIR alleges they attempted to extort money by freezing the businessman's bank account based on fabricated claims of suspicious transactions.

The ATS raid targeted a residence in Shivam Residency, Ahmedabad, registered in the name of Bhatt's father. While the search yielded no immediate arrests, sources believe it could expose crucial connections. Bhatt's alleged involvement in a hookah bar meeting with bookies, as mentioned in a State Monitoring Cell (SMC) report, adds another layer of suspicion.

Bhatt files anticipatory bail application

The investigation extends beyond Bhatt, with the ATS actively pursuing the other accused officers – PI A.M. Gohil and ASI Deepak Jani – who are also absconding. Meanwhile, Taral Bhatt has filed an anticipatory bail application, claiming he is being wrongly implicated and the case is a conspiracy to defame him. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday in the Junagadh District Court, with the possibility of Gujarat ATS officials being present.

Further complicating the case, a potential link to the Ahmedabad Madhupura cricket betting scandal has emerged. The ATS investigation revealed that Bhatt allegedly obtained information about over 1,000 bank accounts used in the ₹2,500 crore betting racket, even after the case was transferred to another agency. This raises questions about his motives and potential involvement in financial irregularities.

The ATS crackdown on the Junagadh case has garnered significant public attention. The raid on Bhatt's residence and the ongoing search for the accused officers signify a determined effort to bring them to justice.

With the Madhupura connection raising further questions, the investigation is likely to unearth more details in the coming days.

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