The Mumbai police crime branch has sought help from the Interpol in tracing the assaulter of Shamim Modi, a socio-political activist and professor of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Tiss).
On Tuesday, a division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi of the Bombay high court heard a petition filed by Modi, who alleged that the investigation into the case was extremely slow. She also alleged that instead of registering a case under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, the police registered a case under section 397 (robbery with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt).
Additional public prosecutor Ajay Gadkari told the court that the crime branch has written a letter to the inspector general of police in Kathmandu. He added that the letter was routed through the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Interpol in order to seek their help in tracking down the absconding accused, Rakesh Bhandari aka Jangbahadur.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy was also present in court, as he had been directed to remain present if the crime branch fails to trace the accused.
On July 23, 2009, Bhandari, a building watchman, had allegedly attacked Modi at Vasai. Her throat had been partially slit and she received around 200 stitches. Modi alleged that former Madhya Pradesh revenue minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kamal Patel was behind her attack as she had contested elections against him before joining Tiss. She also sought action against him.
In October 2009, the high court transferred the case to the crime branch. The court had given the crime branch three months to arrest all the accused and complete the investigation. However, the crime branch failed to do so.