Relatives of slain RTI activist Satish Shetty on Tuesday said that IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, who is now suspended and named as an accused in a rape case in Lucknow following a purported audio recording of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav allegedly threatening him over the phone was made public, could have been framed as he dared to take on the mighty politician.
Thakur – who is known to have taken an “open stand” against the wrongdoings by government agencies – and his activist wife Nutan have been fighting against the alleged corruption by the close aides of Singh.
In August last year, a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a closure report into the RTI activist Satish Shetty’s murder probe, Thakur had visited Pune to support the victim’s family in personal capacity. Thakur was associated to a National RTI Forum of which Shetty was the Pune district in-charge. In a statement released in Pune, which was also published in Newsline, he had said the CBI filed the closure report in hurry and indicated the possibility of investigation officer working under pressure. Thakur was then the Inspector General (civil defence) in Uttar Pradesh.
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“Framing Thakur in a rape case is ridiculous. He is a genuine police officer who is never afraid of taking a stand against corruption. We have been taking his advice from time to time. We had told him about the possibility of closure report into the murder probe. The officer showed a lot of courage by releasing a statement immediately after the CBI filed the closure report,” said Sandeep, brother of Satish Shetty. Shetty was stabbed in Talegaon Dabhade in Pune on January 13, 2010, while he was out on a morning walk.
Initially, the Pune rural police initiated a probe into the murder and arrested a few suspects. Later, the probe was handed over to the CBI. On August 8 last year, the CBI moved the Bombay High Court against the closure report filed by the rural police. But after three days on August 11, the CBI itself filed a closure report in the case.
In his statement, Thakur said that Shetty’s family had contacted him anticipating a closure report in the murder case. “RTI activist Satish Shetty’s brothers — Sandip and Santosh, had contacted me over phone and email in July last year. Santosh had sent me an email on July 3, 2014, where he had anticipated closure of the probe in the case,” the statement said.
It added, “Later, Sandip told me that the investigating officer (IO) in the case had told him that he was under tremendous pressure from senior officers of the CBI to file a closure report in the case in the next few days. But the IO was finding it difficult to follow the order as there was enough evidence on record to chargesheet the accused. Sandeep also told me that the IO told him that a few senior CBI officers were doing so for huge money,”
CBI had examined about 500 people and conducted polygraphy test on 36, including officials of the IRB. In December last year, Sandip moved the Bombay High Court pleading that an order be passed for setting aside the CBI’s closure report in the case. In February this year, the CBI re-opened the case claiming it got “prosecutable evidence” following raids at 21 locations in Mumbai and Pune.