The inquiry conducted by the superintendent of police (SP), Raigad, into the alleged lapses by the Pen police in failing to register an offence following the discovery of the skeletal remains of Sheena Bora in May 2012, has implicated the then inspector of Pen police station Suresh Mirge and deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Suresh Chavan.
The report, submitted by Suvez Haq, SP, Raigad, to the director general of police (DGP) late last week, found both guilty of ‘failing to discharge their duty’ even after finding the burnt human skeletal remains which could either be a homicide or a case of accidental death. The inquiry was ordered by DGP Sanjeev Dayal on August 28.
What is more intriguing is the fact that as per the report, PI Mirge alleged he did not registered any case as the then SP, Raigad, RD Shinde asked him not to register an offence or an accidental death report, sources in the DGP’s office told HT on Wednesday.
The veracity of Mirge’s allegation could not be ascertained as the scope of the inquiry was limited to officials of the rank of DySP. So, the decision to inquire Shinde be taken by the DGP, the report suggested.
When asked what action will be recommended against those implicated in the report or an inquiry against Shinde, Dayal refused to comment. “There are many more important things happening around. I cannot comment on the Sheena Bora case,” he said.
Sources said according to the report, on May 23, 2012, PI Mirge, police sub-inspector (PSI) Sandeep Dhande and other staff from the Pen police station had gone to the spot near Gogade Khurd village, in Raigad, where a decomposed body was found in a burnt suit case in the ravines. The spot/inquest panchnama was filed along with a draft panchnama. It was done before Chavan reached the spot.
This meant, the policemen knew it was a fit case for registering a murder FIR as per section 154 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure), the report said.
Moreover, Chavan inspected the spot and went through the reports. Mirge, the report said, immediately called Shinde, informing about the discovery of human skeletal remains inside the ‘frames’ of a burnt suitcase. He allegedly told the SP that the nearby bushes were burnt too.
Mirge then allegedly told Dhande and Chavan that the SP told him there was no need to register an offence or accidental death report. Chavan believed what Mirge told him, the report stated. Some articles from the spot were sealed, while others were buried near the spot.
Mirge then made a station diary entry and also prepared a draft FIR, before sending the ‘muddemaal’ (seized articles including the skeletal remains) to the JJ Hospital as well as the Forensic Science Laboratory at Kalina for analysis on May 25.
Nothing was put on record: Report
Suvez Haq, superintendent of police, Raigad, in his report, pointed out that police inspector Suresh Mirge had failed to bring on record the alleged instructions given by the then superintendent of police RD Shinde in pursuing the case. He failed to follow the case even after sending the remains for forensic analysis in the two years he remained with the police station. Shinde was transferred 15 days after the incident. Moreover, DySP Chavan failed to give any written direction or his observation of the case in writing, the report said.
‘High court needs to step in’
Criminal lawyer Abha Singh, who has sent a 16-page letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, demanding an inquiry by a high-level committee into all aspects of the Sheena Bora murder, said, “There is a hidden hand which did not allow an accidental death report (ADR) to be registered with the Pen police. This shows the police are all out to hush up the case and help some people,” she said adding, “The high court should now step-in to appoint a SIT to bring every aspect of the murder.”