Treasure Trove Inside Jail: Ex-SP Among 4 Cops Booked for Fraud

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Recovery of Ancient Coins in Kot Bhalwal Jail 

JAMMU  Police Crime Branch on Friday registered an FIR against a former jail superintendent and other staffers for misappropriating medieval era coins, belonging to period of Muhammad Ghauri, Balban and Allauddin Khilji, found in the jail premises.

“Crime Branch, Jammu has registered an FIR against Rajni Sehgal, then superintendent of Kot-Bhalwal Jail, and Havaldars Ravi Kumar, Mohan Lal and Suman Kumar for misappropriation of unusual metallic objects (107 ancient coins) found inside the premises,” a police statement said.

“The case was registered under various sections of the Ranbir Penal code (RPC) and Treasures Trove Act 1954 after an approval was received from the Home Department Jammu and Kashmir with the recommendation of the Director General of Police (Prisons J&K)”, he said.

The official further said that during the course of preliminary verification it was found that in September 2012, jail inmates, while carrying out digging of land for vegetation purposes, had found about 450 to 500 metallic objects packed in an earthen pot covered with a lid and which on rubbing glittered like.

The recovered metallic objects were thereafter handed over to ‘Chakkar Havaldar’ Ravi Kumar & Mohan Lal who wrapped all these items in a piece of newspaper and presented them before Rajni Sehgal while all the inmates were told to return to their barracks, the official said.

He said somehow the news about the recovery of the coins got leaked following which department authorities launched an inquiry in November 2012.

He said Rajni along with other accused officers forced the inmates to hide the truth, “she threatened them that she will make red entry in their records which would further hamper their release prospects from the prison. The inmates were also tortured and forced to lie,” he said.

“The inmates were also tutored to depose that the objects were recovered in the month of November, 2012 near Diwali and not in September, 2012 and were about 100 in number and not 450/500”, the official said.

It also came to fore during the course of enquiry that the recovered unusual objects were actually currency coins used during the regime of Muhammad Gauri, Balban, Ala-ud-din Khilji and contained both as well as copper as their ingredients, he said.

The Jail Superintendent Rajni Sehgal deliberately and intentionally remained mum and did not inform her senior Officers or the District Magistrate concerned, regarding the recovery, as was required under the Treasure Trove, Act.

“It was only after the initiation of the enquiry by the Prisons Department that she disclosed recovery of 107 coins in the month of November, 2012 by preparing fake and forged records/document mentioning wrong date and time of recovery and hurriedly referred the matter to Directorate of Archives, Archaeology & Museum, Jammu in order to put a veil over her misdeeds and wrongdoings”, the official said.

“A case under sections 420, 409, 465, 466, 467, 468, 471, 120-B RPC read with section 5/24 Treasures Trove Act, 1954 was registered in Crime Branch, Jammu against the accused and further investigation has been taken up”, the official added. 

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