That is one of the key questions the Crime Branch is trying to answer as it probes the Saturday murder-suicide case; the statements of eight police officers were recorded yesterday
The Crime Branch officers investigating the Vakola murder and suicide case have recorded the statements of more than eight officers, including the wireless operator Balasaheb Ahir, who suffered a gunshot wound, and another constable who witnessed the shooting.
Officials told the Crime Branch that there was a 5-7 minute gap between the first set of gunshots and the last one, which was presumably the sound of the bullet with which ASI Dilip Shirke (inset) had killed himself
The officers said that the statements were recorded to prove that the bullets were fired by Assistant Sub-Inspector Dilip Shirke on Senior Police Inspector Vilas Joshi and himself. “This case has to be treated like any other murder case and we are gathering evidence to prove that Shirke was the one who fired the bullets and killed Joshi and himself,” said a senior officer from Crime Branch.
The officers further said that apart from the witnesses, the statements were also taken from police officers who were present at the police station. “They said that the first four gunshots were heard around 8.30 pm on Saturday and the next shot, which was presumably the bullet with which he killed himself, was heard about 5 to 7 minutes later,” said a Crime Branch officer.
Officers also said that Shirke had collected his revolver from the arms department at 7.30 pm and the firing took place at 8.30 pm. Cops are now trying to trace Shirke’s movements in that hour. The police officers have also requested for Shirke’s call data records to find out who he spoke to in that time, whether he disclosed anything to anyone about the alleged harassment that he was going through and whether he named anyone specific.
The call data records will also come handy in finding out about Shirke’s movements in that hour and whether he had gone out to meet someone. The Crime Branch has also sent the bullet shells found on the spot to the ballistics department of the forensic laboratory to corroborate that the bullets were fired from the weapon that was in Shirke’s possession.
Shirke’s uniform and the clothes Joshi was wearing will also be sent to the forensic lab today to confirm that the bloodstains were of the two officers. Only after all this will the police officers be recording the statements of the family members of the deceased and the accused.
The Crime Branch will also probe whether the night in-charge API Deepak Shinde was right in making the diary entry, marking Shirke absent on Friday night, which was the alleged trigger for the shooting. An official said they will find out whether Shirke had indeed been absent and the circumstances under which the entry had been made to find out whether it was valid or whether it was a result of alleged animosity between him and Shirke.