Cops knew Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh threatened with murder

In January this year, the Special Cell of Delhi Police intercepted a phone conversation between a Tihar Jail inmate and a Mumbai-based reporter in which the undertrial threatened to kill the men accused in the December 16 gangrape case, police sources said.

The inmate, sources said, was Amit Shukla, who is facing trial for the murder of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan. In the phone conversation, Shukla was said to have claimed that arrangements were in place to kill the five accused in the gangrape case in the "next two days" when they would be taken to the Saket court for hearing.

Sources said a report was prepared and jail authorities were informed about the threat. The jail was told to increase security of the five men, and also of the juvenile accused.

In the conversation, sources said, Shukla told the reporter that an associate would arrange for a revolver and hand it over to another associate at court, where the accused would be shot.

According to sources, Shukla's mobile phone was on surveillance for a few weeks, during which investigators found that two numbers had been frequently contacted one of a compounder in Tihar Jail and the other of the Mumbai-based reporter.

The compounder, sources said, was facilitating an extortion racket on Shukla's behalf and was later arrested for arranging a mobile phone and a SIM card for the inmate. Shukla was also arrested for the extortion racket.

Senior officers in the Special Cell refused to confirm or deny the report of a phone conversation intercept. Sources said a detailed report had been submitted to Tihar Jail authorities and South District police.

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