The issue of a lower court rejecting State CID’s closure report in the Yogita Thakre death case and ordering the state CID to conduct a re-probe figured in the state assembly on Thursday amidst protests from the Opposition BJP members.
Seven-year-old Yogita’s body was found in mysterious circumstances in the boot of a car belonging to BJP president Nitin Gadkari at his Mahal residence (popularly known as ‘Gadkariwada’) on May 19, 2009.
Raising the issue in the House, NCP member Nawab Malik, pointed out that a senior leader of a major national party was involved in the case and there were allegations that tremendous political pressure was used on the police during the course of investigation.
Seeking the attention of the House, he alleged that Yogita was raped and murdered. A defensive, BJP raised strong objection to this and said that there was no need to discuss the issue in the House.
Senior BJP members Devendra Fadnavis and Sudhir Munganttiwar said that the investigation agency ruled out any rape on the girl. So what is basis for the member (Malik) to make such an allegation, they asked. "His (Malik’s) information is half-baked and he should first gather actual information about the incident," they said.
After investigating the case, the CID concluded that it was an accidental death and ruled out any foul play or homicide. The CID was handed over the investigation on the directive of the high court. The probe agency concluded that Yogita died in a closed car due to suffocation.
The report was contested by Yogita’s parents who raised 23 objections pointing out discrepancies in the investigation and alleged that the girl was murdered and sexually assaulted. The parents alleged that, like the city police, had overlooked hard evidence and failed to nab the real culprit under "intense political pressure".
The local police initially registered the case as of accidental death. However, a postmortem report later revealed that the girl died of "smothering." Later, an offence under section of 302 of the IPC was registered.
Following a furore over the incident, and especially the conduct of the investigation by the city police, Yogita’s parents, Ashok and Vimal Thakre had approached the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court for a CBI probe.