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Navi Mumbai missing cop case: Make top cop co-accused for delaying action, say relatives

Ashwini Bidre, 37, who stayed with her family at Roadpali, went missing on April 11 in 2016

mumbai Updated: Dec 29, 2017 12:44 IST
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Hindustan Times
Navi Mumbai Missing cop case,Ashwini Bidre,Hemant Nagrale
Ashwini Bidre’s brother Anand and husband Raju Gore speak to the media on Thursday

The family members of assistant police inspector Ashwini Bidre, who has been missing since April 11, 2016, on Thursday alleged that Navi Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale has helped the accused hide evidence.

They also claimed that Nagrale delayed taking action even though he knew everything about the missing case and demanded that he be made a co-accused in the case.

Ashwini, 37, who stayed with her family at Roadpali, went missing on April 11 in 2016. Even as the case was registered three months later with Kalamboli police station, the police took 19 months to arrest two accused. The accused — Abhay Kurundkar, 52, a senior inspector with the security branch of Thane (rural) police, and Rajesh Patil, 44, nephew of BJP leader Eknath Khadse — were booked under sections 364, 506 (2), 497 and 323 of the IPC.

“We had told the police everything at the time of registering the complaint. But Nagrale took no decision to arrest the accused then. In fact, he misused his post by helping the accused from time to time in hiding evidence,” said Anand Bidre, 35, Ashwini’s brother. “A senior inspector was the prime suspect in this case. So Nagrale should have appointed a DCP-level officer to investigate the case at the beginning. But he did that only after the Bombay high court ordered to do so on October 28, 2016, around four month after the case was registered. So three investigating officers have been changed in this case,” he said.

CCTV footage of Ashwini’s rented house in Ratnagiri showed Kurundkar assaulting her in 2015. “We found that footage and many other videos and audio clips that raised suspicion. We gave all those to the police, but they took no action,” Anand said. “On December 5 in 2017 a TV channel aired that video. It was only then that the police pulled up their socks and arrested Kurundkar. So we believe the police are hand-in-glove with the accused and hence Nagrale should be made a co-accused in this case,” he further said.

The police had earlier demanded narco analysis tests, brain mapping and lie detector tests on the two accused, but the accused did not give their consent. On Thursday, the court also denied the same stating that it would be illegal to go ahead as the accused are not ready.

Nagrale said, “I would like to clarify that the investigating officer of the case is not me but ACP Prakash Nilewad of Panvel division. And the day-to-day supervision of investigation is being conducted by DCP Rajendra Mane. The investigation reports of the case have been submitted to the trial court and the HC. There is no question of either me or any other officer casually handling the case in view of its sensitivity. It is true that we could not trace the missing API. The investigation of the case is on right track and we are waiting the DNA reports which may throw more light on the case. This matter is subjudice at this stage and it will not be appropriate to disclose more details of the investigation.”

First Published: Dec 29, 2017 12:44 IST