We don't know why Mumbai police are delaying Avdhut Shinde's arrest, asks Dutch cop
Following mid-day's sustained reportage, the slow arms of justice in two countries close in on Goregaon resident Avdhut Shinde, who is on the run since his wife Sharmila Shinde's death in Holland
Almost three months after Avdhut Shinde disappeared following the death of his wife Sharmila in their home in The Hague, on May 21, the Dutch police have finally requested the Mumbai police to 'arrest' him. "The revised administrative request sent by the Dutch police via Interpol clearly states: 'Arrest him, and hand him over to Dutch authorities as he is a murder manslaughter suspect'," said a senior police officer from The Hague on condition of anonymity.
We sent our revised request last week to locate and arrest Avdhut. I don't know why the cops there [in Mumbai] are delaying it," the officer said. However, the Mumbai police have been reiterating that they had been told 'only to trace Avdhut' but added that their Dutch counterparts have requested them to record the statements of Avdhut's father and children — possible eyewitnesses in the case.
"As there was a problem in interpreting the Dutch and Marathi languages, the Dutch police requested us to record their statements in English. As per their request, we are in the process of recording the statements of Avdhut's father and children in English," the officer said.
mid-day has learnt that the Dutch investigating team has recorded statements of Sharmila's friends and relatives in Mumbai and Pune. "Statements have been recorded after making voice and video calls to their friends and relatives. We have learnt that Avdhut had been giving Sharmila a hard time. Some friends said Avdhut deliberately brought her here [to the Netherlands] to kill her," one of the Dutch officers told mid-day.
"One of her friends has sent us an email requesting us to call him to The Hague to record his statement in the sensitive matter. Her friend claims to have a lot of evidence to prove how Avdhut had been torturing Sharmila," the officer added. The Dutch police have told her friend that if he wants to visit The Hague, he can do so and assist them in the investigation.
mid-day spoke to a few of Sharmila's friends and they have confirmed their statements had been recorded by the Dutch police. A senior Mumbai police officer told mid-day that they have strenghtened their efforts to trace Avdhut. "A few teams have been formed and sent to locations where Avdhut was last traced in June. These officers have been told to enquire about his locations through human intelligence."
Based on the previous request from their Dutch counterparts, the Mumbai police had traced Avdhut's location in the state's hinterlands where he was making a temple run. His last location was traced to a Kolhapur temple.
"As the Dutch request was ambiguous, we stopped tracing him because it was not legal to keep him detained as the case is registered in a foreign land. Now, we have again started our search," an officer said. "Avdhut is not carrying his phone nor is he contacting his relatives but we are taking the help of human intelligence to trace him. Our technical team has kept tabs on this," the officer said.
Day Sharmila Shinde's body was discovered in The Hague
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