19 years on, retired assistant commissioner of police still waiting for justice

Former cop, who had finally got his brother arrested for a 1998 assault, says court has adjourned case despite all evidence in place

The flat at Oshiwara that is still in Col Netaji Kadam's name
The flat at Oshiwara that is still in Col Netaji Kadam's name

Despite getting his brother arrested in January, for seriously assaulting him 19 years ago, retired assistant commissioner of police Vitthal Kadam, 66, is still a dejected man. On Saturday, the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate court adjourned the matter until the first week of December. Kadam alleges that the evidence he had gathered against his brother, Netaji Kadam, was not even taken into account.

Battle in court
Kadam has been fighting a court battle against his brother, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Indian Army, and his subordinate, who had physically assaulted him over a property row in 1998. mid-day had reported about Netaji Kadam's arrest on January 19.
Speaking to mid-day, Kadam said, "On Saturday, I went to inform the court that my brother had lied on oath when he said he was undergoing treatment at Pune and that he doesn't have property in Mumbai, two grounds on which he has sought relief in his conditional bail. Now, with three months' extension, he has time to tamper with evidence."

'Evidence that brother is lying'
Kadam said, "My brother still owns the flat, the same house in which he assaulted me 19 years ago, at Oshiwara. Also, he has said he lives in Belgaum, yet his submission to the court was that he has to undergo daily treatment for his paralysis at a military hospital in Southern Command, Pune. How is it possible for him to travel 400km daily from Belgaum to Pune and back?"

Meanwhile, the same court issued an arrest warrant on September 7 to arrest Netaji's subordinate, who is a wanted absconding accused in the assault case. A police team from Oshiwara has left for Jammu & Kashmir, where the accused is believed to be living post retirement.

Shubhash Khanvilkar, senior police inspector, Oshiwara police station, said, "Our team is seeking assistance from locals to trace the accused, Kabir Ahmed Qureshi, and he will be arrested soon." When asked the reason for the delay in arresting Qureshi, he said, "We did not have his whereabouts earlier. Also, Netaji is out on bail and the police have submitted their charge sheet in the case." Kadam plans to write to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court with evidence. "I will be exposing the local police and few magisterial court staff, who did everything possible to benefit the accused."

Vitthal Kadam
Vitthal Kadam

The 1998 assault
On May 22, 1998, Vitthal Kadam's brother Netaji had called him to his flat at Oshiwara to discuss a family dispute. The moment Kadam rang the door bell, Netaji dragged him inside and with the help of his subordinate, Qureshi, overpowered Kadam, threw chilli powder into his eyes, tied him with rope and started assaulting him mercilessly with a wooden log. Luckily, someone informed the police, and a team from Oshiwara police station arrived at the flat and rescued him. Kadam was taken to Cooper hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. Kadam then registered a complaint at Oshiwara police station.

"I was told to collect the FIR the next day, and I was surprised to see section 307 (attempt to murder), which was earlier in the FIR, was struck down and section 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) added. Also, my statement, which said that an attempt was made to kill me, was overwritten to 'attempt made to threaten' me." The matter was immediately brought to the notice of the police commissioner Ronnie Mendonca, but nothing happened. mid-day had published a report 'Arms and the Men' highlighting the incident on May 24, 1998.

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