Murders not mystery anymore: Maharashtra police start drive to detect unsolved cases
With 47 cases, Nashik district tops the list, followed by Kolhapur district at 55 . Mumbai city, with it’s large police force (over 47,000 men) and 24X7 CCTV surveillance is not far behind.Updated: Jul 07, 2017 12:50 IST
With 342 unsolved murders in the past two years, the Maharashtra police have taken up a special drive to tackle these cases.
A case in point could be the gruesome murder of a 35-year-old homemaker in Abone taluka in Nashik (rural), which took place when the Maratha reservation stir was at its peak in October last year.
The brief probe concluded the woman could have been killed while resisting a robbery attempt at her home. The killers could never be traced as the investigating officer at the short-staffed rural police station was busy handling law and order during the month-long agitation.
Six months later, in May 2017, when the case was re-opened, one – amongst the 50-odd persons picked up for questioning – turned out to be the lover of the woman. He identified the woman’s husband as the probable suspect.
Following his sustained interrogation, which was followed by a polygraph test, the woman’s husband confessed to the crime, and was arrested.
This is one of the 25 cases solved in the past two months as part of the drive. “The results are encouraging. Twelve more cases are on the verge of being cracked,” said additional director general of police, law and order, Bipin Bihari, who is spearheading the probe into the piled up unsolved serious offences registered across the state in the last two years.
Unidentified bodies constitute a major chunk of the unsolved murder cases, sources in the state police HQs said.
With 47 cases, Nashik district tops the list, followed by Kolhapur district at 55 . Mumbai city, with a large police force (over 47,000 men) and 24x7 CCTV surveillance is not far behind. The city police are still clueless about 32 murders in the past two years.
Over the years, Maharashtra has earned the reputation of having a large number of unsolved murder cases across the country.
Sources said director general of police (DGP) Satushchundra Mathur had convened a meeting of inspector generals (IGs) from seven police ranges and police commissioners from an equal number of commissionerates to discuss find ways to solve the cases.
Sources said that during brainstorming it emerged that factors like preoccupation with law and order duty, shortage of staff (in rural areas), lack of investigation skills in officers, non-adherence to scientific investigation were responsible for lackadaisical investigation.
To overcome the problem, it was decided to form dedicated teams in police stations to re-investigate those cases, while seniors (from senior inspectors to the superintendents of police and inspector generals) were asked to guide and supervise the investigation on a day-to-day basis. “The constant supervision of the cases not only motivates junior officers to prove their skills, it also streamlines mobilisation of resources,” sources said.
Bihari said 12 cases were solved within a week after the drive was launched.
Meanwhile, commenting on the unsolved cases in Nashik and Kolhapur, a senior officer in the state police HQs said it was on account of the large number of unidentified bodies found in those districts.
“A maximum number of state and national highways pass through these two districts. Often bodies of people killed elsewhere are dumped beside the highways,” the official said. “We are in the process of creating a database on unidentified bodies and a software is being developed wherein police stations across the state would be alerted about unidentified bodies found anywhere in the state through our website. This will accelerate the process of identification and expedite investigation,” the official said.