On Wednesday afternoon, senior Inspector of crime branch unit 1 Ramesh Mahale was at his office in crime branch with the usual heaps of case papers surrounding him. The stream of visitors kept coming in and out of his office as the August 11, Azad Maidan violence investigation has gathered pace. Mahale is the investigating officer of that case too.
However the ever busy policeman who is often found buried under a maze of files and computers, had a smile of content on his face as he heard the news of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab’s conviction being upheld.
"It was a honor to lead the investigations of the case and the team really worked very hard," said a jubilliant Mahale who is known for his ability in preparing strong case paper. It is not the first time that Mahale, has been associated a high profile case. He was also a part of the team which investigated the 1993 blasts and also the 1992-93 riots.
However this case was special as Kasab and nine other terrorist shot down, fellow policemen and civilians with brutality and Kasab was the only terrorist captured alive.
Mahale, led the investigations for most of the time, only in the last four days when UAPA was clamped the investigations went Assistant commissioner of police Ashok Durafe.
Mahale has been the person who ran with all the paper work from the special court, to the Bombay high court and even to the Supreme court to ensure that the lone captured Pakistani terrorists is convicted and the courts have all the papers at their disposal. For the first time FBI and NSG officials deposed in a trial.
Even the SC was surprised when it found out that the crime branch and not the CBI had done investigations of the case.
He says the crime branch teams worked from 8 am to 2 am to investigate the case and to file chargesheet. "The first chargesheet was 11,700 pages and the supplementary chargesheet was 1500 pages, the main chargesheet was filed within 90 days required as per law," he says.
Mahale point out a team of 99 officers and staff of various crime branch units investigated the 12 cases which were registered. "Each case had an Investigating officer (IO), along with two to five assistant officers, one computer operator and nearly 5 to 8 staff/policemen," he says adding a total of 296 witnesses, 5 court witnesses and 357 witnesses who filed affidavit were examined.