Police personnel posted at the Vakola police station have refuted the allegations of harassment levelled by deceased Assistant Sub-Inspector Dilip Shirke against Assistant Police Inspector Deepak Shinde, saying the latter was a stickler for discipline but never picked on anyone individually.
On May 2, Shirke, furious at being marked absent by Shinde, first went looking for the latter and on not finding him stormed into the cabin of Senior Police Inspector Vilas Joshi. An argument ensued after which Shirke first shot Joshi with his service weapon, a 9mm pistol, and then shot himself. Shirke’s family later alleged that Shinde was harassing Shirke.
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“We made inquiries with police personnel at the Vakola police station and they have said Shinde was a stickler for discipline and was very particular about police personnel being present at the patrolling points that they were assigned to. He marked Shirke absent because Shirke was not at his assigned spot when Shinde checked, and he had similarly marked others absent as well. There is nothing to indicate specific harassment of Shirke,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atulchandra Kulkarni.
The Crime Branch has so far recorded statements from ten police personnel and four civilians, all of whom were present at the police station at the time of the incident. Of these, one police constable and one civilian have given statements saying they saw Shirke shoot Joshi and then himself, while others, including Joshi’s wireless operator Balasaheb Aher, have said they heard gunshots and rushed to the spot to investigate. The Crime Branch is waiting for reports from the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Kalina, after which it will file a closure report in the case.