TWO NAVI Mumbai police officials who were suspended for dereliction of duty in the Swapnil Sonawane murder case have been reinstated pending completion of a departmental inquiry against them. Sub-Inspectors Sonali Rajguru and Yogesh Mane, attached to Nerul police station, were suspended in July after Swapnil’s family complained against the two.
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Navi Mumbai commissioner of police Hemant Nagrale confirmed that the officials have been posted at the control room of the Navi Mumbai police headquarters. “The two have been reinstated for an interim term till the administrative inquiry headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police is completed in the case,” Nagrale told The Indian Express. He said that the decision was taken after the police in their investigation did not find any criminal negligence by the two officers.
Swapnil, a resident of Nerul, had been allegedly murdered by the family members of a 15-year old girl he was in a relationship with. In her statement, Swapnil’s mother has said that PSI Rajguru had told her that the inter-caste relationship could lead to a Sairat-like situation. The reference was to a Marathi film on inter-caste relationship between a boy and a girl, leading to the murder of the two by the girl’s family. The family had also written to the Navi Mumbai commissioner, seeking criminal action against PSI Mane stating that he had not allowed them to meet the senior police inspector of Nerul police station, when they went to file a complaint against the girl’s brother, hours before the murder.
While the police has added the statement of PSI Rajguru in the chargesheet filed in the case, she has claimed that while she had insisted on registering a complaint, the families of the girl and Swapnil, had refused.
Nagrale said that the decision on departmental action against the two will be taken when a report is sent to him. “The report is pending since family members of the victim have not come forward to record their statements,” he said. An official said that if the report concludes that the lapses were minor, it could lead to either reprimand or refusal of increment. If the lapses are found to be major, it could result in either demoting the officers or removal from service.
Shahaji, Swapnil’s father, said that the family will continue to seek criminal action against the two. “It was not just negligence in performing their duty but had they taken appropriate steps, my son would have been alive today. We suspect there was some connivance of the two with the accused which we seek to be investigated,” he said.