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Ashwini Bidre case: Special prosecutor says Navi Mumbai not cooperating

Assistant inspector Ashwini Bidre had gone missing in April 2016. Her brother Anand had went on to lodge a missing case in Kalamboli police station, but the police allegedly did not take any action until late 2017.

Written by Gargi Verma | Mumbai |
Updated: May 29, 2019 5:02:45 am
Ashwini Bidre case: Special prosecutor says Navi Mumbai not cooperating Ashwini Bidre went missing in April 2016. (File)

Navi Mumbai police and a special prosecutor appointed by the state in a case of a missing policeman Ashwini Bidre, who was allegedly murdered by a senior officer, are at loggerheads with both sides accusing each other of non-cooperation.

Special public prosecutor, Pradip Gharat, who was appointed earlier this month, after advocate Ujjwal Nikam declined the case, wrote to Navi Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Kumar on May 25, claiming that despite being notified, the police officials had not been cooperating.

“Since the past three dates, no officials have come for the hearing. This is something the court has also brought into their notice. There was no communication from the Navi Mumbai police or the investigating officers to me,” Gharat said.

“I take pains and waste my time and energy to write this letter to you as I have formed a considered opinion that your department is not interested and not at all bothered about the fate of the case, and as if your department has abandoned the case for the best reasons known to the department or for the reasons which raise finger of suspicion on the material in the chargesheet,” Gharat wrote in his letter.

Complaining that he was not even provided means of transport to and from Alibaug court, where the case is being heard, he claimed that if the Navi Mumbai police didn’t respond by June 1, he would leave the case.

On Tuesday, the Navi Mumbai police allegedly sent the investigating officer to the lawyer. “He said, he had all the paperwork and details. We have to arrange his vehicle, which we will do. But how can we arrange his vehicle if he doesn’t tell us when he is going to court? It is not necessary and not possible for the officials to be present on each and every date, especially after charges have been framed. We have followed all protocols correctly here. I can only infer in hindsight that he is probably doing all of this because he is not interested in the case,” Sanjay Kumar, Commissioner of Navi Mumbai Police said.

The prosecutor responded: “The court has repeatedly berated the police for delaying the case. They don’t show any interest. Even then, I go on my own and attend the hearing, and do all I can. Who do you think is not interested in the case me or them?”

Meanwhile, the family of the missing policeman has been claiming that the police are trying to help the accused, senior inspector Abhay Kurundkar. “Despite the case being expedited by the court, the police have been lackadaisical. After our insistence, a special prosecutor was brought and even he is angry with them. This shows that they have no interest in getting Ashwini any justice,” Bidre’s estranged husband Raju Gore said.

Assistant inspector Ashwini Bidre had gone missing in April 2016. Her brother Anand had went on to lodge a missing case in Kalamboli police station, but the police allegedly did not take any action until late 2017 when accused Inspector Abhay Kurundkar was arrested along with two others for Bidre’s abduction and murder.

The police had organised a massive hunt for her corpse before submitting the chargesheet, but had found nothing.

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