August 3, 2021 8:14:16 pm
Cop in-charge of area where violence started deposes, lawyers seek police station records
KOREGAON BHIMA Commission of Inquiry has asked the state government to produce copies of various police station records, such as station diary entries, wireless messages, copies of FIRs, CCTV footage pertaining to the violence on January 1, 2018, as sought by lawyers for cross-examination of police witnesses.
A senior police officer, Ramesh Ganpatrao Galande, who was then in-charge inspector of Shikrapur police station, Pune Rural police, at the time of the incident, deposed as a witness before Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday. Galande is now assistant commissioner of police (Khadki division), Pune Police.
The commission, headed by retired High Court judge J N Patel, was formed by the state government for probing into the cause of the violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018, in which one person died and several were left injured.
Galande is considered to be a crucial police witness as Koregaon Bhima area is under the jurisdiction of Shikrapur police station, and he was the in-charge when the incident took place.
Galande’s chief examination was recorded by the commission’s lawyer Ashish Satpute. Galande said he was “in-charge” officer of Shikrapur police station from June 29, 2016, to April 28, 2018. Galande said he was injured during the violence, when two rival mobs were hurling stones at each other.
Before starting his cross-examination, advocate B G Bansode told the commission that despite his efforts, the Pune Police and Pune Rural police did not furnish him with records such as station diary entries, wireless messages, copies of FIRs, CCTV footage pertaining to the incident. Bansode and other lawyers said without this material it was not possible to cross-examine a police witness.
State lawyer Shishir Hiray said they were ready to hand over such material as sought by Bansode on a hard disk. The commission then directed the state to produce records as sought by Bansode and also deferred Galande’s witness till further notice.
Galande is the second police officer to have deposed before the commission. Earlier, the commission examined IPS officer Lakhmi Gautam in January and February 2020.
Advocates Pushkar Durge and Pradeep Gawade on Tuesday cross-examined the witness, Pralhad Ishwar Gaikwad (63), a retired inspector from Income Tax department, belonging to the Dalit Mahar community in Vadhu Budruk village. His cross-examination will continue on Wednesday.
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