Of the 299 unsolved murder cases between 2015 and 2016, the state police have cracked 25 in the last three months. The cases were taken over following an exercise initiated by the office of the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP), in which district superintendents and commissioners were asked to revisit unsolved cases of last two years. After body offences, the state police will be asked to look into other major cases.
“Body offences such as murder, rape and abduction, which have not been detected in the last two years, are on our priority list. We have asked our men to concentrate on those first,” additional directorate general of police (law and order), Maharashtra Police, Bipin Bihari, told The Indian Express.
The exercise is the brainchild of state police chief Satish Mathur and Bihari. “We have asked all district superintendents and commissioners to draw a list of such cases and ask their staff to revisit them. The aim is to bring down the numbers of undetected cases,” added Bihari.
After drawing the list, the DG office also conducted a couple of video conferencing sessions to get regular updates on the cases. “The inspectors general (IGs) have been asked to closely monitor the progress in each case and update regularly. Besides, during video conferences we discuss the progress in each case and guide the officers wherever needed,” added the official.
Speaking on the drive, a senior official said lack of supervision, especially in hinterlands, leads to cases being left undetected. “This is not a case of burking, where an official refuses to lodge a complaint citing frivolous grounds, but lack of supervision. With right guidance, the team will pick up the right lead and crack the case,” he said.
The drive recently helped the Aurangabad Police to detect a 2016 murder case. The police arrested the husband of the victim. “We initially thought the murder was a fallout of a failed robbery bid but when the case was reopened recently we summoned the husband for questioning. His phone records threw a few suspicious numbers and we decided to subject him to a lie-detector test. During the test, it was revealed that he had killed his wife as he was in love with another woman and his wife was against the relationship,” said an official from the DG office.
The DG office has asked all its units to make use of the expertise of the recently-sanctioned mobile forensic units, in providing scientific aide to the cases. “Like in the Aurangabad case, where a lie-detector test had helped us not only get a lead but also served as an evidence in the court of law. We have advised our officers to make use of these scientific devices, as the evidence gathered cannot be contested,” added the official.
There are over 40 mobile forensic teams across the state, one for each district or commissionerate.