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CBI files closure report in Satish Shetty murder case

More than four years after RTI activist Satish Shetty was murdered by unknown assailants in broad daylight, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a closure report on Monday, after being unable to find sufficient and prosecutable evidence against the accused, who include advocate Vijay Dabhade and IRB Chairman Virendra Mhaiskar.

Satish Shetty
Who killed him? CBI was “unable to find sufficient and prosecutable evidence against the accused”, in the murder of RTI activist Satish Shetty.

However, the investigative agency said it will reopen the case if new evidence comes up during their probe of a land dispute case — which was referred to the CBI by Bombay High Court on August 8, 2014 — and is said to be related to the murder of Shetty.

“The CBI investigated the Satish Shetty murder case for around four years, and was unable to find sufficient and prosecutable evidence against any of the accused persons. Therefore, a closure report of the case was filed today (Monday),” informed Kanchan Prasad, spokesperson of CBI. “However, in a related development, the Bombay High Court has referred a case of land dispute, which was being investigated by the local police, to the CBI, on request of the investigative agency. This case allegedly has some relation to the murder case (of Shetty). If new evidence comes to the fore, CBI will reopen the murder case,” she added.

Shetty, an RTI activist from Talegaon Dabhade, was standing at a newspaper stall after his morning walk on January 13, 2010, when unknown assailants stabbed him on his head, hands and neck. Pune rural police had arrested lawyer Vijay Dabhade and four others, and on September, 2010, the case was transferred to the CBI. In July, 2013, Pune’s sessions court had granted permission to the CBI for conducting polygraph tests on suspects and witnesses in connection with the case, including Mhaiskar, advocate Ajit Balwant Kulkarni, the lawyer of IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited and
eight others.

Dabhade, one of the accused who was present in Wadgaon Maval court when CBI filed the closure report, said, “The investigative agency has failed to find the real culprits behind the murder of Satish Shetty. There is a lot of influence of money in this case, and the local police as well as the CBI are not going after the real masterminds.” Shetty had filed a case of cheating against IRB chairman and 12 others in 2009, that forged documents had been used to acquire land near the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.

In November 2009, he had written to the then Superintendent of Police Pratap Dighavkar, saying that he has been receiving threats and had sought protection.

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