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Cops fumble with basic probe process

THE POLICE have overlooked some very basic aspects of investigation in the Mehar Bhargava case. And, this laxity is not just on the part of the investigating officer (IO) but senior cops as well.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 00:20 IST

THE POLICE have overlooked some very basic aspects of investigation in the Mehar Bhargava case. And, this laxity is not just on the part of the investigating officer (IO) but senior cops as well.

It’s anybody’s guess then, how a precise and clear-cut chargesheet will be filed in this high-profile case! To begin with, it’s taken senior police officials a whole month, after the incident, to issue directives about collecting evidence to establish charges against the accused.

Mehar was shot at in February-end. But, it was only this Thursday that DIG (Range) Subhash Chandra sent a missive to the Lucknow SSP to obtain the fingerprints of one of the absconding accused, Sachin Pahadi, from the Allahabad police, and have them matched with the fingerprints of Pahadi in the Lucknow police database. In the past when Pahadi had been arrested in Allahabad, he had identified himself as Amit Singh and at an earlier date, when he had been arrested by the Lucknow police, he had identified himself as Abhay Singh. Therefore, It is only on the basis of the comparison of fingerprints recorded at the time of the two arrests can the Lucknow police justify its claim that Sachin Pahadi and Amit Singh are the same person.

Also, the DIG has asked the SSP to record the statement of the victim in the eve-teasing incident and the prime witness, Kavita Bhargava.  Why has the IO not bothered to obtain an eyewitness account from her till now? Surely, Kavita Bhargava’s account would help explain how the eve-teasing led to her mother-in-law’s murder.

Finally, the Lucknow police have dispatched a sub-inspector to Allahabad to obtain the fingerprint documents.

Incidentally, there’s a fresh problem in Lucknow. The Hazratganj police is unable to trace the report on Pahadi’s fingerprints in the control room here. They are not sure if the cops had indeed filed Sachin Pahadi’s fingerprints when he was arrested here! It is yet to be confirmed whether the Allahabad police had filed the fingerprints too.

Apart from this, SSP Ashutosh Pandey began collecting details about Pahadi’s friends, to quiz them about the whereabouts of the accused, only after 26 days of the incident—the day Mehar died.

Meanwhile, the police team sent to Pithauragarh for property attachment of the accused too, returned without achieving anything and stated that they did not find anyone at Pahadi’s house to deliver the notification.