CBI to re-investigate RTI activist Satish Shetty's murder

  • Yogesh Joshi, Hindustan Times, Pune
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2015 22:19 IST

Almost six months after the agency submitted closure report citing lack of evidence, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday decided to re-investigate the killing of Right to Information (RTI) activist Satish Shetty.

The decision to reopen Shetty's murder case came after CBI's recovery of "incriminating evidences" during the recently carried out searches at Ideal Road Builders Infrastructure (IRB) premises.

The CBI spokesperson through a text message said, "CBI has decided to re-investigate the alleged murder of Satish Shetty case on the basis of incriminating evidences found during searches carried out at 21 places in the related case of Lonavala land scam…The re-investigation will be carried out by the special crime branch of CBI, Delhi."

Shetty had highlighted the Lonavala land-grabbing case before he was stabbed to death in 2010. During the investigation on allegations made by Shetty, the CBI conducted searches at 21 residential and office premises of IRB and its senior officials in Mumbai and Pune.

Those who were subjected to searches included Virendra Mhaiskar, MD of IRB infrastructure, Deepak Gadgil of Aryan infrastructure (a subsidiary of IRB) and several others linked with the land acquisition. Shetty in his complaint had alleged that land acquisition conducted by the Maharashtra government for Pune-Mumbai expressway was marred by discrepancies. According to Shetty, the land acquired by the government was resold to Aryan Infrastructure, an IRB sister concern.

After his murder, Shetty's brother Sandip filed an affidavit in the Bombay high court alleging that the IRB officials had intimidated his brother for taking up land scam.

While the CBI continued its investigation into Shetty's complaint, the agency on August 12, 2004 filed a closure report before Vadgaon Maval court citing that they could not found sufficient prosecutable evidence against any of the accused.

Shetty was murdered on January 13, 2010 after unidentified persons stabbed him to death while he was returning home after a morning walk. The assailants, after stabbing Shetty on his head and neck, fled from the spot, leaving no trace.

Initially the case was probed by the local police. Later, the case was passed on to the CBI after the Bombay HC took suo-motu cognizance of the murder.

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