A year on, cops yet to ascertain cause of death
A year after Atharva Shinde, son of a police inspector attached to the Economic Offences Wing, was found dead near a lake in Aarey Colony, police are yet to make a headway in the case. Not only are they yet to take action against the drug peddlers whose names cropped up during investigation, the cause of death has also not been ascertained.
On May 7, Shinde, 20, left from his home in Kandivli to attend a friend’s house party at Aarey Colony. When he did not return the next morning, his father sent out a search party. His body was recovered 500 metres from the bungalow.
The Aarey Colony police registered a murder case, which was then transferred to the crime branch unit 11. The eight youngsters at the party tested positive for drugs.
“We are probing whether it was a case of homicide, accidental death or negligence,” said Akbar Pathan, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), crime branch. “I am not aware whether the names of those who supplied drugs to the party came up during investigation. If anything comes up, we will investigate.”
However, an officer at the Aarey police station said, “When we questioned Atharva’s friends, names of three drug peddlers who had supplied LSD, mephedrone and marijuana for the party came up. The names were mentioned in the documents given to the crime branch. Either crime branch unit 11 or the anti-narcotics cell must arrest them,” said a police officer from the Aarey police station.
A crime branch officer, who is part of the probe, said that the peddlers will be booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, if it turns out to be a case of murder.
“We had sent the CCTV footage to the forensic lab in Kalina to check for tampering. We are awaiting its report and will submit a report to the court once we receive it,” said the officer.