The family of assistant police inspector Ashwini Bidre, missing since 2016, on Thursday said that agencies investigating her alleged disappearance and murder were shielding the accused police inspector Abhay Kurundkar and three others.
Bidre’s brother Anand and her husband Raju Gore raised several questions on the investigation process. “The secondary chargesheet has been filed and yet nothing concrete has been found. We haven’t even been informed what the chargesheet entails,” said Anand.
“If someone causes an accident on the road, police take cognizance… He is accused of killing a woman brutally. Why is he still not at least suspended? He still holds clout as an inspector attached to the Thane rural police. Incidentally, Thane rural is the area where the alleged offence took place,” said Gore.
The family also demanded that ACP Sangeeta Alphonso Shinde be reinstated as the investigating officer till the last date of the case in court. “On May 31, the current IO ACP Nilesh Raut is retiring. ACP Alphonso was also put on the case only till May 31. After that, who will fight the case when the accused demand bail?” asked Anand.
The family claimed that instead of actually investigating, the Navi Mumbai police officers were busy in seeking credit for their investigation. “We want the case to be fast-tracked and for the government to appoint Ujjawal Nikam as the special public prosecutor in our case. The CM had told in the assembly that action will be taken against authorities who manhandled the investigation in our case. However, despite us meeting his secretary, nothing has happened. Is the government so busy that they can’t hear the plea of a 70-year-old ex-army man?” said Anand.
The Navi Mumbai police, however, refuted their claims. “Investigation is a process. Yes, there are flaws with this one, but we are still trying. We have put together good evidence, with whatever limited resources we had,” said a senior officer privy to the investigation. “Their demands regarding wanting a specific officer is not correct. This is part and parcel of investigation. People keep changing, but the investigation continues,” the officer added.
Bidre went missing in April 2016. Her brother Anand lodged a missing case in Kalamboli police station, however, the police allegedly did not take any action until late 2017.