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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

MLAs deny role, cops asked about theirs by panel

Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 03, 2013
First Published: 01:15 IST(3/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:16 IST(3/4/2013)

On the second day of the proceedings of the seven-member panel appointed by the state legislature to probe the thrashing of traffic cop Sachin Suryavanshi by a group of legislators on March 19, some probing questions were posed to investigating officers who recorded his complaint. It was decided that more CCTV footage needs to be screened, while the three MLAs who were suspended for the incident denied their involvement.

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After questioning Suryavanshi and two MLAs – Ram Kadam (MNS) and Kshitij Thakur (Bahujan Vikas Aghadi) — on the first day of enquiry on Monday, the other three suspended legislators —Rajan Salvi (Shiv Sena), Jaikumar Rawal (BJP) and Pradip Jaiswal (Independent) — were summoned on Tuesday, when they said they had not thrashed Suryavanshi.

The panel led by senior MLA Ganpatrao Deshmukh also questioned investigating officer from the Marine Drive police station where the first complaint of the incident was registered, and those from the crime branch of Mumbai police which is currently probing the case. They faced some tough questions from the panel members for more than four hours.

The officers were reportedly asked about the application of some sections of the Indian Penal Code. The panel was not happy with the slapping of section 353 (assault to deter public servant from his duty) of the IPC, sources said. The officer was also asked about Suryavanshi’s condition when his complaint was registered and whether he had received any directions from his superiors.

The probe panel will watch the footage of all the CCTV cameras installed in the first floor lobby on Wednesday as the footage screened on Tuesday is reportedly not clear. The panel members saw the footage from two cameras on the first floor, and also visited the spot.

A CCTV network operator, who deposed on Monday, has reportedly said the footage of the incident was not clear as the cameras were not zoomed in on the corridor, which is done when suspicious activity is noticed. But this was not done as the incident happened suddenly and there was no alert from the security officials to the control room to focus on that particular area.

The police have pinned their hopes on the footage to build a case against the legislators.

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