After sustained requests from senior journalists and friends of Charudutta Deshpande, Home Minister R R Patil has cracked the whip by giving Mumbai police an ultimatum of three- four days to come up with a plan of action to investigate the suicide case.
The former chief of corporate affairs and communications at Tata Steel was found hanging at his Vasai residence last month. While it has been ruled as a suicide case, yet many questions remain unanswered.
Earlier this week, senior scribes met Patil at his bungalow, where office bearers of Mumbai’s press club briefed him about the circumstances that forced Charu to end his life.
Gurbir Singh, president, Press Club, Mumbai said, “ We have demanded that the inquiry into Charu’s death should not be closed as a case of ‘ accidental death’ but must be probed deeply as there were sufficient prima- facie evidence that suggest that he had been threatened by various Tata Steel officials. He was even kept under house arrest in the days prior to the incident.” The delegation also demanded that the investigation be moved out of Vasai Police Station to a more competent agency such as the DCB- CID or the state’s CID department.
Patil has formed a highlevel probe committee under the direct supervision of Joint Commissioner of Police ( Crime) Himanshu Roy, who would be passing on his best officers to assist Dy Superintendent of Police ( Vasai division) Deepak Devraj.
When contacted Dy SP Deepak Devraj, he confirmed the role of Mumbai crime branch officials and added, “ We are in the process of recording statements of key people who were known to Charudatta including ICICI Director K Ramkumar. Once the statements are recorded, we will decide our further plan, including sending a team to Jamshedpur.” Meanwhile a high- level internal committee chaired by Ishaat Hussain, non- executive director of Tata Steel, has requested ICICI Director (HR) K Ramkumar and former editor of Forbes India Indrajeet Gupta to be present before the committee today.
Interestingly, on Friday, sleuths attached to the Unit 12 of Crime Branch had already started assisting the Vasai police in the probe. A police team on Friday evening even met Forbes’ former editor Indrajeet Gupta and recorded his statement.
Himanshu Roy, Joint Commissioner of Police ( Crime) said, “ We have started a parallel inquiry and have sent one of the best teams to Vasai. I am sure that our expertise would be best used in getting to the root of the case.”