The family of a 16-year-old boy killed in 2016 allegedly by the family of an upper caste girl he was friendly with has alleged that the investigating officer in the case had been transferred abruptly. The family alleged that the move was a deliberate one to weaken the case against the accused.
In July 2016, Swapnil Sonawane died after being allegedly assaulted by the father and brothers of his 16-year-old classmate. The case was being investigated by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nitin Kausadikar, who was recently transferred to the port area in Nava Sheva, sources said.
According to Sonawane’s father, Shahaji, the family from Nerul was informed about the transfer only last Tuesday, just ahead of the bail hearing of some of the accused. “We were sent a letter late in the evening on January 23 alerting us about the bail hearing of some of the accused on January 24. Why were we informed so late?” Shahaji asked.
A bail application was filed at the Thane sessions court by two accused who are friends of the girl’s brother, a key accused in the case. “On January 24, their lawyer also filed a bail application for the girl’s younger brother. However, we have filed an application asking the erstwhile investigating officer to be present in the court as he had been handling the investigation till now and would be in a better state to answer questions about the case,” said Sonawane’s lawyer, advocate Mamta Jadhaw. She added that the next hearing in the bail application has now been scheduled for February.
Sonawane’s family has claimed that Kausadikar was shunted out to delay the investigation. “This is a complex case and Kausadikar had been working on it for some time now. It is a plot to undermine the investigation,” Shahaji said.
When contacted, Kausadikar said he had been transferred internally by the commissioner. “I can’t comment on any case. As my seniors decided this, I have no qualms against the transfer,” he said.
The Commissioner of Navi Mumbai Police, Hemant Nagrale, said: “Transfer of officers doesn’t affect the investigation. The incumbent will investigate it. I have not received any representation from Sonawane about this.”