A constable under training is on the run after allegedly practising a ‘covert’ operation not taught in the police academy.
The constable, U Manjunath (PC No 4724), planted a packet of cannabis (ganja) in a software engineer’s car before seizing it with his associate, a police informer.
The duo threatened the engineer, Kevin Pereira, 35, and took Rs5,000 from the hapless man to exclude him from legal action and embarrassment.
The police informer, David, has been detained for further inquiry, sources said.
The incident came to light after Pereira complained to M Chandrashekhar, deputy commissioner of police (east). When contacted, the officer refused to comment on the issue.
Police sources said David knew Pereira, and he along with Manjunath plotted to extort money from him. The men went to the engineer’s house in Kalyan nagar around 10 pm on May 8, and learnt that he had gone to dinner at a friend’s house in Banjara Layout.
The men immediately left for Banjara Layout and found Pereira at his friend Sudeep’s house around 11 pm. Manjunath said he wanted to search the residence since he had information of prostitution and drug peddling being carried out from the house.
Sudeep allowed the policeman in, even though he was not carrying a search warrant.
Sources said Manjunath used his mobile phone to take the video of the search. After a few minutes’ search, the constable demanded to search Kevin’s car.
The engineer unlocked his car. Manjunath and David searched the car, and allegedly planted the packet of cannabis in the boot. This search was also videoed.
The constable ‘seized’ the packet, and threatened to inform his high officers as well as the media. A scared Kevin tried to settle the matter there itself, and a negotiation started.
Sources said Manjunath, a native of Bellary, initially demanded Rs10,000 to hush up the matter, but came down to Rs5,000. Kevin agreed and gave Rs2,000 there itself. He took the constable and David in his car to an ATM booth on Hennur Road, and withdrew the remaining amount.
The next day, Pereira met Chandrashekhar and lodged the complaint. The officer ordered a probe two assistant commissioners of police, Narasimhaiah of KR Puram sub-division and BB Ashok Kumar of Pulikeshinagar.
The probe led to the detention of David, who reportedly confessed to the crime. A case under section 384 (extortion) of the IPC has been registered (Crime No. 149/2011) at the Hennur police station, where Manjunath had been working.
“Even if drug pedalling and prostitution was really carried out from the house, a constable alone cannot raid the house. According to the rules, he should have brought it to the notice of the assistant commissioner of police and inspector. The raid could be conducted only in their presence,” a senior police officer said.