The probe into the deaths of five men, who died after participating in the police recruitment drive in June, has revealed the physical tests flouted guidelines laid down for the exam.
Physical tests –especially running- should be conducted early in the morning, and should get over before 9am, says a circular issued by the office of the Director General of Police. However, the running exam in June continued way into the afternoons, resulting in several aspirants collapsing from exhaustion.
The Mumbai crime branch, which is investigating the case, said the time for the tests was extended after a formal circular by Vijay Chavan, additional commissioner of police, local arms division, who was vested with the responsibility of conducting physical tests for the recruitment process. The decision was taken owing to the large number of applicants.
The investigators are, however, unsure if the change in schedule amounts to culpability or negligence on the part of the senior officer.
“We have recorded the statement of around 50 people, including the fitness experts who assisted us in the probe. In his statement, Chavan said he had issued the circular because the number of participants was high and that if the prescribed timings were followed, the process would have continued for many more days,” said a crime branch officer.
The officers had taken the help of fitness experts to analyse the nitty-gritty of the daily routine of the deceased aspirants, to get specific information of what they ate in their last days and how much they practised for the tests.
The forensic tests of the deceased have revealed the deaths were natural and happened because the aspirants pushed themselves beyond their endurance limit. Reports of two of the deceased, however, are still awaited.
The team of crime branch officers probing the case will submit the final report to Rakesh Maria, commissioner of police, who had ordered the investigation.