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Satish Shetty murder: CBI officer removed from case to protect vested interests, claims brother

The slain activist’s brother demanded that the cop be reinstated on the case, alleging he had been removed to protect influential people

The dust is yet to settle after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently exposed several unsettling conclusions in the Satish Shetty murder case in a surprise closure report (mid-day report titled Bloodstained weapons found at former cop’s house, says CBI, August 15). Sandeep Shetty, the slain RTI activist’s brother, is now alleging that the investigating officer, Additional Superintendent of Police (CBI - Anti-Corruption Branch) S P Singh, has been removed from the case to protect the interests of some “influential” people.

Sandeep Shetty and Satish Shetty
Sandeep Shetty (left), the deceased activist’s brother said that pressure from influential people had forced an end to the investigations into the killing of his brother, Satish Shetty (right). He was murdered three months after he filed a complaint alleging that officials from IRB had grabbed land. File Pics

Sandeep has appealed to the Bombay High Court that the officer be reinstated on the case, as he was an honest cop who had gone on to defy all pressure to cover up the facts of the case. “It was quite predictable to us that an honest officer like Singh would be transferred, as he was causing trouble for some influential persons,” he said.

Mid-day’s report on August 15
Mid-day’s report on August 15

He added further, “There was pressure on him to not bring the disturbing facts on record, but Mr Singh defied all that and filed the closure report, which mentions all the facts revealed during investigations. The report contains irrefutable evidence regarding the motive behind the murder, and the close nexus between the local police and IRB officials.”

The High Court has scheduled the hearing for Sandeep’s application for August 25. A text message sent to CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad did not elicit any response on the question of Singh’s transfer. “The joint director of CBI, Keshav Kumar, had, on January 14, stated that the agency was on the verge of unravelling the mystery behind Satish Shetty’s murder.

The question now is to find out what exactly happened in the five to six months since, forcing the investigating officer to
file a closure report,” said Sandeep. “Even as recently as August 8, when the CBI sought the transfer of the 2009 land-grabbing case exposed by Satish Shetty, there had been no talk of the agency filing a closure report or the lack of prosecutable evidence,” he said.

“I am sure that the CBI was influenced by certain persons and, hence, Mr Singh was not given sanction to proceed,” claimed Sandeep. Satish Shetty, an activist from Talegaon Dabhade, was murdered by unknown assailants on January 13, 2010. He was stabbed in the head, hand and neck. He had filed a complaint just three months earlier, alleging that officials from the company, IRB, had been illegally grabbing land in Maval taluka.

The Pune rural police had arrested advocate Vijay Dabhade and four others in connection to the murder. The case was then transferred to the CBI in September 2010, while the original land-

The closure report’s Revelations

>> Several phone calls had been exchanged between the original investigating officer in the murder case — retired Police Inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar (in pic) and the accused IRB company officials

Bhausaheb Andhalkar

>> A bloodstained sickle had been found at Andhalkar’s house during search operations. However, the blood group tests were inconclusive

>> Several accused gave deceptive responses during the polygraph tests

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