RTI activist murder: DCP's statement recorded by CBI

Jun 02, 2012, 14:00 IST | Akela

Mumbai DCP Pratap Dighavkar was Pune (rural) SP when RTI activist Satish Shetty was murdered by unidentified assailants in Talegaon on January 13, 2010

On Friday, the Pune unit of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recorded the statement of deputy commissioner of police (DCP), zone IX, Pratap Dighavkar in connection with the Satish Shetty murder case. Dighavkar was superintendent of police, Pune (rural), when the RTI activist was killed by unidentified assailants.

Mark my words! The CBI recorded DCP Dighavkar’s statement in the Satish Shetty murder case yesterday and a report will be submitted to the court. File pic

Shetty was attacked with swords while he was on his morning walk in Talegaon near Pune on January 13, 2010. Pune rural police had arrested Vijay Dabhade, Pramod Waghmore, Navnath Shelar, Shyam Dabhade and Dongrya Hanumant Rathod in connection with the murder. Later, the case was transferred to the CBI.

Taking a dim view
During investigations, CBI officials needed to question several cops like inspector (retired) Bhausaheb Andalkar, inspector Sunil Tonpe, assistant inspector Namdeo Kauthale, head constable Ramesh Gabaji Nale, police naik Rajendra Mirghe, constable (retired) Kailash Labade (all associated with the Pune rural police), head constable Shahaji Ramchandra Athavale and Shyam Dabhade. Earlier this month, the investigating agency had secured the court’s permission to conduct lie-detector test on 10 people, including seven policemen, in connection with the case.

On Friday, Vidya Kulkarni, SP, Pune unit of CBI, called Dighavkar and recorded his statement. Sources say that a polygraph test may also be conducted on him if the need arises. Rishiraj Singh, joint director, CBI, said, “He (Dighavkar) was SP at that time. We want to know his side of the story.”

A CBI officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We have recorded Dighavkar’s statement. We will submit the report in court and if the court orders we will conduct a polygraph test also. This is a part of our investigation. The media is unnecessarily hyping up the matter.”

The other side
Despite several attempts, Dighavkar could not be reached for comment. A person, claiming to be an operator, who picked up his mobile phone a few times, said, “Saheb is busy in meeting.” The DCP also did not respond to our text messages. Nisar Tamboli, spokesperson of Mumbai police, also refrained from commenting on the issue. 

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