Police inspector Sanjay Shinde and police constable Amol Deshpande, who are currently facing an ACP-level inquiry following the escape of murder accused Vijay Palande from a police jeep, were suspended from duty on Monday.
Deven Bharati, additional commissioner of police, crime, said: “Shinde and Deshpande from unit 8 of crime branch have been suspended for professional misconduct by attempting to interfere in the Amboli police’s investigation into the disappearance of aspiring Bollywood producer Karan Kakkad. They have also been charged for their proximity to criminals [Palande and his associates] without authorisation from senior officials.”
On several occasions, policemen take help of criminals, such as informers, to collect information. But prior consent of the seniors is taken for that, said Bharati.
The decision on the action against the duo was taken on the basis of a report on the inquiry conducted by ACP A Mahabdi.
As Kakkad went missing from his flat in Oberoi Springs apartments, his brother lodged a missing complaint with the Amboli police on March 9. The investigating officer of the case had summoned Kakkad’s acquaintances and relatives for questioning to get a clue on the whereabouts of the missing producer. Initially, he had summoned Palande’s wife Simran Sood, who was Kakkad’s neighbour and his close friend, for questioning. This was followed by a call to Palande for questioning.
At this stage, Shinde allegedly interfered with the investigation process. He reportedly told the officer at the Amboli police station to go soft on Palande, claiming that Palande was his relative. Palande happens to be the brother-in-law of Shinde’s elder brother.
Shinde allegedly asked constable Deshpande to accompany Palande to Amboli police station. “All these actions are in gross violation of service rules. It is a clear cut case of interference in the investigation process,” Bharati said.
The investigating officer had also made a station diary entry of the alleged interference by Shinde and Deshpande.
Incidentally, a month later, the Amboli police arrested Simran Sood and later Vijay Palande for Kakkad’s kidnapping and murder. Palande even led the police to the site near Kumbharli Ghat in Chiplun where he had allegedly dumped Kakkad’s minced body.