Suspended Thane Jailor Hiralal Jadhav has written to the Mumbai Police asking it to probe the role of DIG (Prisons) Swati Sathe in the alleged custodial death of Byculla inmate Manjula Shetye.
Jadhav — who was suspended following an inquiry conducted by Additional Commissioner of Police, Aswati Dorje, indicting him in a sexual harassment case — submitted a letter to the Mumbai Police on Saturday.
In his letter, Jadhav has alleged that Sathe, who was heading the inquiry into the death and the subsequent riots that ensued, might have destroyed evidence against the jail staff booked for the murder of Shetye. He also cited the WhatsApp chats purportedly sent by Sathe wherein she has sent messages sympathising with the arrested accused and asking jail officials to raise money for their bail.
Earlier this week, after her messages became public, Sathe recused herself from an internal enquiry ordered by the prisons department.
The inquiry is now being headed by IG Rajvardhan Sinha, who will look into the circumstances leading to the two incidents.
“Sathe was heading the inquiry into the custodial death and we suspect that she might have destroyed the evidence to help the accused. I have written to the Mumbai Police asking them to probe if she was responsible for compromising the inquiry,” Jadhav said.
Meanwhile, a senior official from the prisons department, who did not wish to be named, called the complaint by Jadhav motivated. “Jadhav has challenged his suspension before the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) but we are fighting it as the inquiry had indicted him. He is a disgruntled officer and his complaint seems to be motivated,” said the officer.