Delhi HC directs Centre to continue security for police officer who investigated Nitish Katara murder case

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said the authorities shall continue providing security to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Anil Samaniya till the next date of hearing on December 10

The Delhi High Court on November 24 directed the Centre to continue providing security to a senior U.P. police officer who was the investigating officer (IO) in Nitish Katara murder case and is retiring soon, as he apprehends threat to his life.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said the authorities shall continue providing security to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Anil Samaniya till the next date of hearing on December 10.

The High Court issued notice and sought response of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Government, Delhi Police, U.P. Government and Director General of U.P. Police on the petition by the officer who is retiring on November 30 and fears for his life.

Mr. Samaniya said he has been provided with security cover since 2002 till date and after his retirement, the security would be withdrawn and in that event, his life as well as that of his family members would be in grave danger.

He said he is retiring after exemplary service of 40 years from the U.P. Police and had investigated the infamous Nitish Katara murder case in which Vikas and Vishal Yadav, son and nephew of ex-Minister D.P. Yadav, were involved.

Advocate P.K. Dey, representing the officer, said Nitish Katara’s mother Nilam Katara and Ajay Katara, who were witnesses in the murder case, have already been provided with round the clock security looking at the threat perception.

“In view of the facts and circumstances, particularly influence of D.P. Yadav, it is expedient in the interest of justice and looking to the life and liberty of the petitioner [Samaniya] and his family, that security may be ordered to be provided to them, by a central agency or any other agency, so that the petitioner may lead a secured and peaceful life,” the plea said.

On October 3, 2016, the Supreme Court had awarded a 25-year jail term without any benefit of remission to Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal for their role in the sensational kidnapping and killing of Katara.

Another co-convict Sukhdev Pehalwan was also handed down a 20-year jail term in the case.

Prior to this, the Delhi High Court, while upholding the life imprisonment awarded to Vikas and Vishal Yadav by the trial court, had specified a 30-year sentence, without any remission, to both of them. It had awarded a 25-year jail term to third convict Pehalwan.

All three were convicted and sentenced for kidnapping Nitish Katara from a marriage party on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002 and then killing him for his alleged affair with Bharti Yadav, the sister of Vikas.

Ms. Bharti is the daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav who is in jail in connection with another murder case.

Katara was murdered as Vishal and Vikas Yadav did not approve of his affair with Ms. Bharti because they belonged to different castes, the lower court had said in its verdict.

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