The inquiry conducted by former Maharashtra Police chief Sanjeev Dayal into the role of Raigad police in the Sheena Bora murder probe had indicted IPS officer and then Raigad SP R D Shinde after it took on record two conversations, including an 80-second phone call made on May 23, 2012. The second call made at 4.30 pm the same day was specific, as it was made by a police inspector to Shinde from the crime scene, in the presence of other officers and staff, narrating the suspicious circumstances and facts around the forensic finding. Sheena’s body was burnt on April 25, 2012 at a spot in Raigad district under the jurisdiction of Varsai police outpost.
These two phone calls, despite denials from Shinde during the inquiry, have been shown as proof, indicting him for dereliction of duty. The report said Shinde didn’t take proper action even though his subordinates had informed him of a partially burnt body found next to a burnt metal frame.
Shinde is now Additional Commissioner of Police, Central Region, Mumbai.
Dayal forwarded these findings on Shinde in a three-page report to the state government on September 29, 2015, a day before he retired. The report recommended a departmental inquiry against the then deputy superintendent and other personnel involved in the matter for “various acts of omission and commission”.
On November 22, the state government went on record, with Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi stating Dayal’s “one-page report is unsatisfactory”, entrusting DGP Praveen Dixit with a fresh inquiry, giving him a deadline of 15 days.
“I am hurt. It is very sad that despite two months nobody has read it,” said Dayal. “Of course, they havn’t even read it. How else will the news of the report being one page come? It’s a complete three-page report.”
The three pages, along with a covering letter, were sent as a ‘demi-official’ report on the morning of September 29, marked as priority to the office of the additional chief secretary (home).
“I recommend that the conduct of R D Shinde, the then SP Raigad, for not getting a cognisable case registered though warranted by the facts and circumstances, needs to be taken note of seriously and action is warranted,” the report by Dayal read. Only the state government can take action on officers of the rank above DySP, the report further outlines, requesting the government to take the relevant action.
The report accessed by The Indian Express gave a detailed account on the action omitted and committed by the chain of command in Raigad police.
When Shinde was called for inquiry, he allegedly denied the phone calls or the fact that he was informed of a burnt body. The report, however, noted that the denial was “conclusively disproved by the call records”.
The state government, meanwhile, denied making any comments on a fresh inquiry into the matter. “No fresh inquiry has been ordered. DGP Praveen Dixit has been asked to give a clear-cut proposal for inquiry and the supporting documents,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi said in a text message.