DNA test used to prove identity of prime witness
The skeletal remains of Anil Bheda, the prime witness in the fake encounter killing of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya, were identified with the help of DNA testing, the Bombay high court was informed on Thursday.
The Navi Mumbai police told a division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi that Bheda’s body parts were burnt.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Bheda’s wife Aruna seeking direction to produce her husband dead or alive.
Additional public prosecutor AS Gadkari submitted a report prepared by the Vashi police stating that the DNA of the remains found in Manor was of the prime witness.
“The DNA samples have matched [with Bheda’s relatives]. It shows that the skeletal remains found in the murder case registered with the Manor police station are of the person who went missing on March 13,” said Gadkari.
After perusing the report, the judges sought to know what the state government and the police proposed to do in such a situation. Gadkari said that both the cases — the missing case registered with the Vashi police and the murder case registered by Manor police — should be investigated by one officer.
Gadkari sought time to seek instructions from the office of the director general of police, Maharashtra, in this regard. The court has now granted him a week to decided the further course of the investigation.
Bheda had gone missing on March 13, a few days prior to his scheduled testimony before a sessions court, which is trying 22 persons including encounters specialists Pradeep Sharma and Pradeep Suryavanshi, for allegedly eliminating Lakhan Bhaiya in a fake encounter.
A few days after his disappearance, Bheda’s wife Aruna filed a habeas corpus petition seeking production of her husband. She alleged that her husband may have been kidnapped since he was constantly receiving threatening calls.
She had also expressed apprehension that her husband could have been killed by persons connected with the encounter killing.