The crime branch of Mumbai police has failed to make any progress in the case involving an assault on police sub-inspector Sachin Suryavanshi allegedly by a group of MLAs in Vidhan Bhavan as it is still to get the CCTV footage of the incident.
While a few senior IPS officials had viewed the footage on the day of the assault, the investigating team from the crime branch has still not been given access to it. Police sources said they are likely to get the footage soon as they have been assured of it by the Vidhan Bhavan authorities, after which the probe will begin.
Senior crime branch officials sought to brush aside queries on the progress of investigation. They also declined to answer why no identification parade has been conducted even though Suryavanshi has been discharged from the hospital. The police have recorded statements of the security guards at Vidhan Bhavan, who are from the police force, but no clues have emerged from them either.
So far, only MLAs Kshitij Thakur from Bahujan Vikas Aghadi and Ram Kadam of MNS have been arrested in the case, and none of the remaining assaulters have been identified by the crime branch.
The statements of MLAs and the witnesses have helped little in identifying the remaining co-accused. The two arrested MLAs have been granted bail by the court.
Former IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh said, "It seems the police have surrendered their statutory powers of investigation to their political masters, and the senior police officials are responsible for this. All this has come at the cost of the honour of the uniform.”
Speaking about the CCTV footage, Singh pointed out that under section 157/165 of the criminal procedure code, the police have the right to seize all evidence and process it. He said the Supreme Court rulings are clear that the state has no power to interfere in investigations.