An official from the Vakola police said ASI Dilip Shirke's actions were inconsistent with someone who planned to shoot himself; he said if Shirke had wanted to kill himself, he would have done it right after killing Joshi, instead of taking shelter inside Joshi's cabin
After killing his senior police inspector Vilas Joshi, the killer cop hid inside Joshi’s cabin, fearing an attack from his colleagues, before turning the gun on himself.
According to Vakola police officials, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Dilip Shirke had been posted to Santacruz railway station for night duty on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. The night officer in-charge was Deepak Shinde of Vakola police station, with whom Shirke reportedly had a sour relationship.
Crime scene: The blood-stained floor after the incident. Pic/Atul Kamble
After he came to know that Shirke was not present at the railway station, Shinde called Shirke at 2.30 am on Saturday and also at 5.30 am, but his phone was unavailable. Shinde made an entry in the station diary against Shirke and marked him absent.
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On Saturday, Shirke was busy attending some function and went to the police station around 8 pm. When he reached, an official told him that he had been marked absent the previous night and a station diary entry had been made against him. Infuriated, Shirke asked for a revolver from the district room and went to meet Senior Inspector Joshi in his cabin. The revolver was loaded and had six bullets.
“Since Joshi was in a meeting, Shirke waited outside. After the meeting ended around 8.30 pm, he tried to talk to Joshi, but the latter refused to listen to him. They had an argument and Joshi insisted that Shirke had been absent and thus the diary entry was valid. Joshi then asked Shirke to leave as he was getting late to go home. Joshi left his cabin, spoke to his wife and was about to get into his car when Shirke fired four rounds. Three of the bullets hit Joshi and one hit his wireless operator Balasaheb Ahir,” said a police official.
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“We rushed to Joshi sir, he was lying in a pool of blood and staff from the entire police had surrounded him. We did not know where the bullet was fired from or who the shooter was,” said an official.
Some time after they reached Joshi’s side, they heard another gunshot. This time, they could make out that the shot was fired inside Joshi’s cabin and that was when they realised that someone was hiding inside. Some of the policemen rushed inside to find that Shirke had shot himself in the head. His body was found near the window of Joshi's cabin.
Another officer, who was present at the spot, said, “There is a possibility that Shirke had no intention of pulling the trigger on himself. If he had wanted to do so, he would have done it right after killing Joshi instead of taking shelter inside Joshi's cabin. After the shooting, when the staff gathered at the spot, he must have realised what the consequences were going to be and must have shot himself from a point blank range only then.”
Joshi and Ahir were rushed to the Lilavati hospital. While Joshi was declared dead in the wee hours of yesterday, Ahir is recuperating at the hospital.
Shirke was never given a gun
The killer cop, Dilip Shirke, who was attached to Vakola police station as a constable since the past four years and had been promoted to assistant inspector just five months ago, was never given a revolver by his superiors due to his short-tempered nature, even though he was eligible to have one. Cops said that Joshi, who had joined recently, was unaware of Shirke’s nature and he tried to deal with him more strictly than he did with other staff.
Shirke’s son, Abhishek (26), however, alleged that Shirke was often targeted by his superiors. Speaking to mid-day, he said, “The DCP and Senior Police Inspector are to blame for this extreme step that my father has taken. They harassed my father. Three years ago, my father had taken leaves for 70 days as he was having serious cough problems. Even to get those sick leaves sanctioned, in that condition, he was made to run from the DCP’s office to the police station several times.”
"Even after recovery, he was put on patrolling duty, which was harming him because of the pollution. Last month, he got a letter asking him to answer why he had taken the 70-day leave. This was because the increment was expected next month. And, talking about him being absent on duty on Friday is an absolute lie because he was in uniform and on duty. All this is being done purposely. I am also annoyed with the statement of Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria that Shirke was absent because he does not know that he was present."