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CID wants to question 17 convicts about missing witness

Two years after the body of real estate agent Anil Bheda — who went missing just days before he was supposed to depose in the fake encounter case of Chhota Rajan aide Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya

Written by SUKANYA SHANTHA | Mumbai | Published: July 10, 2013 2:24:15 am

Two years after the body of real estate agent Anil Bheda — who went missing just days before he was supposed to depose in the fake encounter case of Chhota Rajan aide Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya — was found in the jungles of Manor in Thane district,the state CID Tuesday moved an application before a sessions court seeking permission to question 17 persons convicted in the case last week in this regard.

Sessions judge V D Jadhawar,however,directed the state CID to approach the Palghar Magistrate (First Class) under whose jurisdiction the case falls.

Those who the CID wants to question include suspended senior inspector Pradeep Suryavanshi and 12 other policemen.

Bheda (48),who was allegedly the sole witness to Gupta’s abduction,went missing three days before he was supposed to depose before a court on March 16,2011. Following his disappearance,his wife Aruna filed a habeas corpus petition in the Bombay High Court. On July 22,Vashi police submitted a DNA report to the HC,stating that bones found in Thane district were that of Bheda.

“He (Bheda) was a sole witness in the case. We want to check if any of the convicted persons had any role to play in his disappearance and subsequent murder. It is only a preliminary inquiry,” said additional superintendent S Y Mohite,state CID.

According to the prosecution,On November 12,2006,Gupta and Bheda were abducted by policemen. While Gupta was killed at Nana Nani Park in Versova,Bheda was allowed to go,only to be later abducted for a month and allegedly threatened to prevent him from revealing information about Gupta’s killing.

However,when a Special Investigation Team formed under the supervision of KMM Prasanna – who was then posted as DCP Zone 9 in Mumbai – started the probe,Bheda aided them with crucial evidence. As many as 22 persons were arrested in the case,including senior inspector Pradeep Sharma. He was last week cleared of the charges.

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