MP's window of opportunity?

Jul 23, 2012, 06:35 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Cops made frantic investigations after Padamsinh Patil reported the cracked pane in his 22nd floor apartment, concluded that air pressure had caused it; suspect that the murder accused cooked up story for extra police cover

Over a dozen policemen from Gamdevi police station were sent into a tizzy after Member of Parliament Padamsinh Patil discovered that one of the windowpanes in the living room of his 22nd floor residence on Altamount Road was broken. Fearing that it was the handiwork of a gunman who had taken aim at him from an adjacent building, Patil, who is also an accused in the murder case of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar, called up the local police seeking an immediate probe. After over 24 hours of intense investigations, which included searches in adjoining buildings, the investigators concluded that the pane had cracked due to air pressure.

What a pane! The drama started when Patil discovered that one of the windowpanes in the living room of his 22nd floor residence on Altamount Road was broken

“Rana Jagjitsinh Patil and his father Padamsinh stay in a flat in a highrise on Altamount Road. As the pane was broken at night, the bodyguards smelt danger and informed us. As the flat is on the 22nd floor, it’s not possible for anybody to break it with a stone — it looked like the work of a bullet,” said a police officer from Gamdevi police station.

Scared: Padamsinh Patil

Cops immediately launched an investigation, searching for the bullet in the flat and the ground below. Even ballistics experts were called in to check whether a bullet had cracked the pane. After a day-long search however, the bullet could not be found. “After all these preliminary investigations, we have reached the conclusion that the pane broke due to air pressure,” said a police officer.

“Usually, for every flat in the high rise, there are two glass panes for protection from air pressure. In Patil’s flat, the pane from the inner side was broken,” said Pradip Lonandkar, senior police inspector of Gamdevi police station. “It looks like the panes could have broken due to air pressure. But we are waiting for reports from the ballistics experts, as we don’t want to take any chances. Meanwhile, the security at Patil’s house has been beefed up,” Lonandkar added.

Investigators believe that Patil, who enjoyed ample security prior to his arrest in the murder case, may have cooked up this story as a ploy to get additional police cover.

Despite repeated attempts, Patil could not be reached for comment. 

Padamsinh Patil: MP, murder accused
On June 3, 2006, Pawanraje Nimbalkar was shot dead near the Kalamboli steel market in Navi Mumbai, while he was on his way to Pune. His driver Samad Kazi was also killed in the attack. Nimbalkar’s wife Anandibai alleged that her husband was a victim of political rivalry, and claimed that former minister Patil was behind the gruesome murder. Patil was arrested in June 2009 for allegedly conspiring to kill Nimbalkar. The Alibaug Sessions Court granted him bail on September 25, 2009. 

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