Six Uttar Pradesh Police constables, including two women, were suspended Tuesday for stopping over at the house of a friend of the main accused in a Rs 3,700 crore online scam while escorting him from Faridabad to Lucknow, an official said.
The escort team included constables Rajan Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Arun Kumar, Arun, Susheela and Preeti, he said.
On the way to Lucknow, the team stopped at the house of a friend of the accused, Anubhav Mittal, 29, in Noida. Later, the group also had lunch at a restaurant located in the housing complex, a Noida police spokesperson said.
"Mittal was brought to Faridabad in Haryana in connection with a case. On their way back to Lucknow, he and the police personnel stopped at a flat at Cleo County Society in Sector 121 of Noida for lunch," a Noida police spokesperson said.
"At the society, some locals raised concerns over Mittal being brought there, after which the local police were alerted and the accused and the police team from Lucknow were sent back," he said.
"The Gautam Buddh Nagar police has no role in the episode," he added.
The Noida police submitted a report to their Lucknow counterparts about the incident and Gautam Buddh Nagar SSP Vaibhav Krishna apprised his Lucknow counterpart about it, the spokesperson said.
"Six police constables, including two women, have been suspended from service in light of the episode and an inquiry has been ordered into the case," a Lucknow police official told PTI.
No accused, who is being taken to a court or police station, is allowed to decide what food to have or where to have it, he said.
The rules state that the accused be given treatment at par with other accused and served meals at a police station. The expenses for the meal are reimbursed to the visiting police team by the state, he added.
Mittal was arrested in February 2017 by the Special Task Force of UP Police, along with two others, for allegedly duping around seven lakh people of Rs 3,700 crore through Socialtrade.biz, an online portal he had launched, the official said.
The victims were allegedly promised handsome returns by clicking on website links, he said.
Mittal was charged under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and related offences, the police said.
Charges under sections 3/5/6 of the Prize Cheat and Money Circulation Scheme Act were also pressed against him, they said.