With the Pune police finding no evidence to support the allegation that a séance was conducted in former police commissioner Gulabrao Pol’s antechamber during the investigation into rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s murder last year, they have now approached the Director General of Police (DGP) to get an external agency to probe the matter.
Former commissioner of police Gulabrao Pol (left) with his counsel Harshad Nimbalkar at a press conference yesterday
This extra precaution, police sources said, is prompted by the fact that the allegation had smeared the whole city police force, and not just Pol, and they do not want people to speculate whether this probe had been properly carried out.
Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar told mid-day that the inquiry into the alleged seance is not of a criminal, but administrative nature. “We obtained a CD from the concerned media organisation and analysed the video footage in which an ex-constable had reportedly confessed to have conducted the séance during the murder probe. However, we have found that there is no ‘confession’ in that video,” he said.
“Since these allegations are not only against Mr Pol but against the entire city police force, we have now sent a letter to the DG office and requested him to get an independent inquiry conducted into this matter through an ‘external agency’ to avoid any further allegations on the police force,” he said.
The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti has already filed a complaint with the present police commissioner, Satish Mathur, demanding an inquiry into the alleged incident of communicating with spirits.
The letter to the DGP was sent on Saturday, after this complaint was filed. Narendra Dabholkar’s son, Hamid, said, “The Director General of Police has told us that a fact-finding committee has been constituted to probe into this matter. We want them to investigate it thoroughly and bring out the truth.”
Pol also agreed to a probe into this incident yesterday. “Let there be an investigation. There is no question of my non-cooperation in the investigation,” he said. Asked if the persons mentioned in the news magazine article, which had triggered this controversy, had met him, Pol said, “We had asked 40 retired police officers of the rank of police inspectors and assistant commissioners to help Pune police in the investigation of the Dabholkar murder case.
Their help was sought as the scope of the investigation was huge and retired police officers have considerable knowledge of the crime world in the city. ACP Ranjit Abhinkar was one of those officers, but ex-constable Manish Thakur’s help was not taken as claimed by the news magazine.”
Pol, who has taken voluntary retirement, was heading the Pune police when Dr Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified assailants on August 20, 2013, in front of the Omkareshwar temple in Shaniwar Peth. The investigation into this case has been handed over to the CBI as per the instructions of the Bombay High Court.
Rejecting claims of ‘politically motivated damage’ to his reputation, Pol, through his counsel Harshad Nimbalkar, has also served a R100-crore defamation notice to journalist Ashish Khetan and Editor-In-Chief of Outlook magazine, Krishna Prasad, for the “false, frivolous and per-se defamatory content” published in the July 14 article on the Dabholkar murder probe. Pol’s counsel Harshad Nimbalkar read out the legal notice during a press conference yesterday.