Just two days after retired Police Inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar went public with allegations that investigators had failed to nab advocate Vijay Dabhade, who is, according to him, “the real killer” of RTI activist Satish Shetty (‘CBI let the real killer get away’, August 13), the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) case closure report revealed several contradictory details.
Satish Shetty had filed a complaint in 2009, implicating IRB officials in a land scam. He was stabbed to death in January 2010. File Pic
The report revealed that, prima facie, there was a close nexus between Andhalkar — who was the investigating officer in the case originally — and the accused officials from the company IRB and its subsidiaries, including Virendra Mhaiskar, managing director of IRB Infrastructure Developers, liaison officer Jayant Dangare and others. The CBI cited a list of phone calls made between the policeman and the accused during the three-month period between Satish Shetty’s complaint implicating IRB in
a land scam, and his subsequent murder.
Retired policeman Bhausaheb Andhalkar (in white) is amongst 26 policemen who stand accused in the Satish Shetty murder case. File Pic
Andhalkar, on Tuesday, had gone on record alleging that once the contents of the CBI’s closure report were revealed, it would “clear things up”, and prove that the agency had not made efforts to investigate the case.
The CBI’s report, however, gives a completely different account. “During the search from the residence of Andhalkar, one koyta (sickle) was recovered and seized by the CBI. According to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), New Delhi, blood was detected on the koyta from Andhalkar’s house, as well as on another koyta and sword seized from the residence of one Kishor Behade (one of the accused).
Mid-day’s report on August 13
However, the blood grouping in all the three did not give any reaction,” the report states. Responding to the CBI’s observations, Andhalkar told mid-day that all phone calls between him and the IRB officials were part of an inquiry he had conducted into the complaint made by the deceased Shetty. “If we are investigating a certain case, then, obviously, frequent calls are going to be made between us and the concerned,” Andhalkar claimed.
He also rubbished the CBI’s suggestions that a bloodstained sickle was found in his residence during search operations. He added, “I was the in-charge of the Crime Branch of Pune rural police. It is foolish to think that I will hide the weapon in my house after allegedly committing a murder. Who will buy this argument from the CBI?”
“During investigations, around 500 people from Talegaon Dabhade and adjoining areas were examined. The people interviewed included prisoners who were released on parole and furlough in December 2009, as well as members from different gangs operating in Pune and Talegaon Dabhade,” stated the investigating officer, Additional Superintendent of Police (CBI-ACB) S P Singh, in the report.
His statement added that another accused, Santosh Chintaman Chandolkar alias Luba, was subjected to a polygraph test, during which 15 questions were put to him. “Deceptive response was found in his answers regarding his involvement in the murder of Satish Shetty, including one question as to whether he had killed Shetty on orders from Andhalkar,” Singh stated.
The CBI is currently investigating the October 2009 land dispute at Ozarde village, off the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.
The case was handed over to the agency on August 8, and the CBI had announced earlier that if the land case reveals more clues to Shetty’s death, the murder case could be reopened.
RTI activist Satish Shetty had filed a complaint in October 2009, alleging that officials from the company, IRB, were illegally grabbing government and private land in Maval taluka. Following the complaint, Shetty allegedly received threats from a company official. His appeal for police protection was denied, after which Shetty was stabbed to death on January 13, 2010.