A team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is probing the alleged custodial death of a 65-year-old migrant worker Babu Sheikh Nisar in Vadodara, will leave for Telangana this week to show photos of unidentified dead bodies kept at the Vadodara public hospital to his son, Salim, in hope that one of them is identified as that of Nisar, the Gujarat High Court was told on Friday.
CID investigating officer Girish Pandya submitted this while apprising a division bench headed by Justice Sonia Gokani on the investigation carried out so far and the leads that they plan to pursue.
The submissions came during the hearing of the habeas corpus petition moved by Salim in June this year, seeking the production of the body of Nisar who went missing in December 2019.
According to Imtiyajkhan Kureshi, who was representing Salim in the proceedings, CID officer Pandya informed the court that DNA samples of Salim will be taken to find any match with the dead bodies at the mortuary at SSG Hospital in Vadodara.
The CID also informed the court that the one of the six accused — inspector DB Gohil — who was living on rent in a house belonging to a petrol pump owner. Acting on the police statement of head constable of Fatehgunj police station, Mahesh Rathwa, that the accused personnel had burnt the body of Nisar using petrol and wood, the CID informed the court that CCTV footage of Gohil’s landlord, was sent to the forensic science laboratory (FSL).
CID teams are also actively canvassing car servicing centres with photos of the accused, hoping for a lead, as was submitted before the court.
The CID’s investigation so far has led them to believe that the accused had multiple phones and had only left their official phones at the police station to avoid tracking. The sleuths are now trying to get more details of phone numbers and locations, with the aid of mobile network companies, the court was told.
Kureshi told The Indian Express that a request for interim compensation as eligible under the provision of custodial deaths was also put forth by Kureshi. The request is expected to be decided upon at the next date of hearing, scheduled for November 23.
Six of the accused persons in the case — inspector DB Gohil, sub-inspector DM Rabari and Lok Rakshak Dal jawans Pankaj Mavjibhai, Yogendra Jilansinh, Rajiv Savjibhai and Hitesh Shambubhai — are in judicial custody. Chargesheet is expected to be filed by November 30.
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