Sheena Bora case: Raigad police launch inquiry into hush-up
A probe has been launched into why a case was not registered when Sheena Bora’s body parts were first found in 2012, Raigad superintendent of police Suvez Haque said on Saturday amid questions of a cover-up in the high-profile case.india Updated: Aug 29, 2015 20:42 IST
The Raigad police have ordered an inquiry into why neither an accidental death report nor a murder case was registered after officials from Pen police station were led to Sheena’s burnt remains in a thicket near Gagode Budruk village on May 23, 2012.
In the circumstances, the police should have filed a case of accidental death or murder – depending on the condition of the body and details of the crime scene – but failed to do so. Suez Haque, superintendent of police, Raigad district, said on Friday, “An inquiry has been ordered to investigate lapses by police officials. A report will be submitted to the director general of police.”
Hindustan Times reported on August 29 that R D Shinde, then superintendent of police at Raigad, had told officials at Pen police station not to proceed with the investigation. The officials mentioned this in the station diary. Maharashtra police sources told HT that police inspector Suresh Mirge, who is now with the caste verification department, and deputy superintendent of police Pradeep Chavan, now posted in Akola, had advised Shinde to register a case of murder but were ignored.
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The two officers had even drafted a first information report (FIR), but were told by Shinde not to file it, according to a police source. The police are trying to find this FIR draft. A source said that apart from Chavan and Mirge, police sub-inspector Sandeep Dhande, now involved in anti-naxal operations in Nagpur, will be called in as part of the inquiry.
Haque said on May 23, 2012 a passerby noticed the skeletal remains of a burnt body at the remote spot and notified the police, upon which they went there and prepared a panchnama.
Instead of looking for the rest of the remains, officials sent samples of skin, hair and bone from what they had to the hospital and washed their hand of the matter. “A post-mortem was done at the spot and samples were sent to the anatomy department of JJ Hospital,” said Haque, adding that JJ Hospital did not send them a report.
The main purpose of inquiry will be to find out why no case was filed. Additionally, officers will be asked why they didn’t follow up with JJ Hospital for the forensics report, said a police source.
Dr T P Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital, said they were unable to carry out any tests owing to the insufficient quantity and poor condition of the samples they received. A year and a half after they received the samples, JJ Hospital wrote back to the Raigad police to say that the samples were not good enough for forensic or anatomical examination.
“The Pen police had recovered samples of skin, hair and bone from the spot, which were apparently sent to JJ Hospital and the Forensic Science Laboratory in Kalina. There is an acknowledgement from the hospital but we have no record of one from the laboratory,” said a high-ranking police officer, who did not wish to be named.
Shinde, now additional commissioner of police (central region), refused to comment when HT called him on Friday.
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First Published: Aug 29, 2015 17:46 IST