While 100 policemen were looking for meow meow peddler Shashikala alias Baby Patankar all over the city and neighbouring areas, she was staying at the residence of a retired Army officer in Konkan district, investigations have revealed. The ex-Army officer, who has admitted to having allowed Patankar to stay in his house even after learning about her fugitive status, is now under the police scanner.
Patankar, accused of having supplied drugs to former Mumbai Police constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe, was arrested on Tuesday by the Social Service Branch after a 40-day hunt. She is currently under interrogation in the custody of Crime Branch over the drug-peddling operation and the source of the contraband.
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“Patankar told us that she was staying at the residence of a retired Army officer in the Kerawade village near Kudal in Konkan district. We sent a team there and they recovered three cell phones and a pen drive from the house on Thursday. The team also questioned the ex-officer. He said that he initially did not know that Patankar was wanted by the Mumbai Police, but she told him about it later. He still let her stay in his house,” said a Crime Branch officer.
The Crime Branch will soon take a call on whether to charge him for aiding and abetting a fugitive or to make him a witness. He has detailed information about Patankar’s movements for the 40 days that she was absconding.
“Patankar has claimed that the retired officer practices astrology and she had once consulted him, after which they kept in touch. We are conducting further inquiries,” the officer said. He added, “We have already been able to ascertain that she came to Mumbai twice on the sly during this period. She has, in her interrogation, named a few more policemen with whom she has been in touch and we will soon investigate the nature of their associations with her.”
The officer added that Patankar has named a drug dealer based in Mumbai as the one who supplied drugs to her. The police are now looking for the drug dealer. Patankar’s son Satish, who had been taken into custody by the Crime Branch on Thursday, was produced in court on Friday. He has been remanded to the Crime Branch’s custody till April 28.