Navi Mumbai cop murder: Search team fails to find remains in Vasai creek
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Navi Mumbai cop murder: Search team fails to find remains in Vasai creek

The Navi Mumbai police and Indian Navy, fire brigade officials and local fishermen conducted the operation on Monday

mumbai Updated: Mar 06, 2018 10:40 IST
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Hindustan Times
Ashwini Bidre case,Vasai,Indian Navy
Assistant inspector Ashwini Bidre-Gore.

The first day of the search operation to trace murdered assistant inspector Ashwini Bidre-Gore’s mortal remains proved futile.

The Navi Mumbai police along with the Indian Navy, the fire brigade officials and the local fishermen conducted the operation at Vasai creek on Monday. However, they failed to discover any remains.

“We searched for the mortal remains in an area of around three kilometres in the creek. The operation was called off after it got dark. It will start again on Tuesday morning,” said Sangeeta Alphonso, assistant commissioner of police, who has been appointed by the Chief Minister’s office to supervise the investigation.

The water of the creek was muddy as the sand dredging operation was taking place in the nearby areas. Reportedly, the police are also planning to take help of some private agencies in the operation.

Commander Mehul Karnik, chief public relations officer, Indian Navy, said, “We got a request from the Navi Mumbai crime branch asking for divers last week. Six divers from the Navy have been pressed into service to search for the body.”

Hemant Nagrale, the police commissioner of Navi Mumbai, was also present while the search operation was on.

Gore, 37, was allegedly murdered by senior inspector Abhay Kurundkar, 52, and his three accomplices on April 11, 2016. While some parts of her body were thrown into the creek on the day itself, some others were thrown the next day of the murder.

“The accused said that the body parts were tied to some heavy metal objects. The Navi Mumbai crime branch officers are using strong magnets to trace the parts,” said a police officer on the condition of anonymity.

Local residents of the area said that the possibility of finding the mortal remains is very less, as two monsoons have passed after the incident.

“Even as the Navy officials joined the operation, they did not bring much equipment with them. The river bed was not checked with cameras,” said Raju Gore, Ashwini’s husband who was present at the site.

“Initially the police were not even ready to register a kidnapping case. We are happy that at least they are doing something now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the third accused, Kundan Bhandari, 51, was produced before the court after his police custody ended on Monday. The court has remanded him to a further14-day jail custody.

Kurundkar and the second accused-Rajesh Patil, 44, who is the nephew of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Eknath Khadse, were both remanded in jail custody earlier. The fourth accused, Mahesh Phalnikar, is in police custody.

“We are exploring different angles in the case and some more people are likely to be arrested,” said a crime branch official on the condition of anonymity.

(With inputs from Ram Parmar)

First Published: Mar 06, 2018 01:25 IST