The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday recorded the statement of deputy commissioner of police (Zone 9) Pratap Dighavkar for eight hours in connection with the murder of Pune-based RTI activist Satish Shetty. Dighavkar was the superintendent of police (Pune rural) when Shetty was murdered on January 13, 2010 in Talegaon-Dabhade.
A senior CBI official confirmed that Dighavkar's statement was recorded by the central agency at its Pune office. "We want to check what [Dighavkar] has to say about the murder," the official said. The CBI also sought to know if Dighavkar was aware that Shetty had sought police protection.
The RTI activist had lodged a complaint with the local crime branch about an alleged land scam involving Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited. A police station at Lonavala had lodged an FIR against Mhaiskar and 12 others for cheating.
Subsequently, Shetty wrote to the Dighavkar, the erstwhile superintendent of police (Pune rural), seeking protection. Shetty reportedly mentioned the threats and their source in his letter to Dighavkar.
The slain activist's family has alleged that Shetty's request was ignored.
After Shetty was murdered in 2010, the Bombay high court took up the case for hearing suo motu, and later allowed Satish's brother Sandeep to intervene in the petition. Sandeep then filed an affidavit alleging that Mhaiskar had a role to play in the murder.
Mhaiskar is a senior corporate honcho, who was listed by Forbes as one of the richest Indians in 2009. IRB is a Mumbai-based road infrastructure firm, which has been contracted by the government to maintain the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and also collect toll.