Human skeletal remains were found at Arthur Road Jail on November 22.
Senior police inspector, Vasant Tajane from NM Joshi Marg police station said, “Labourers had broken down an old barrack next to barrack No. 8 in the north eastern part of the jail compound to reconstruct it. They began digging the ground to lay the foundation for the new structure.”
“Approximately six ft under the ground, they came found a skull with an intact jaw and a tooth, two bones that were 18 and 13 inches long along with other smaller pieces. The prison authorities were informed who in turn told us,” Tajane said.
Additional commissioner of police (Central Region), Vineet Agarwal said, “A total of 11 bone pieces have been found. We have sent them to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Kalina to determine when the body was buried.”
A forensic expert who did not wish to be identified said, “Once a body has been buried, it takes between 10-25 years for the skeletal remains to become brittle and turn to powder. However a number of factors come into play. For instance, if the body has been covered by a cloth or plastic and then buried, it would take a longer time for the skull to turn brittle.”
Tajane said, “We have never had any instance of an inmate going missing from the prison. We are clueless about the body. We are awaiting the FSL report. Other factors like the sex of the body and its age would also come to light. That will play an important part in investigating the matter.”
The Arthur Road jail was constructed in 1925 and has been operational since 1926.
An officer from NM Joshi Marg police talking on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media said, “We are not sure but locals from the area have told us that prior to the prison there was a graveyard at the spot. We are investigating this claim.”
FSL Director MV Garad said, “We were given the bone samples and we are conducting a DNA test on it.”