In what is being described as a major lapse in the murder probe of 21-year-old trainee software engineer Darshana Devidas Tongare,the Pune city police have failed to hand over to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) her cellphone,her computer hard disc and her friends cellphone that they had seized during the course of investigation.
A resident of Suvarna Park Society in Bavdhan Khurd and employee of IBM,Darshana was stabbed near Maratha Mandir Hall near her residence on July 30,2010. An offence of murder was registered at the Hinjewadi police station.
While the police failed to arrest anyone in the case,the Bombay High Court,following a writ petition filed by Darshanas brother Ketan Dongare,passed an order in December 2012,transferring the investigation to the CID.
After the CID took over the probe,Darshanas parents filed a petition in the court saying the Hinjewadi police had seized her cellphone and computer hard disc from their residence and also her friends cellphone,but the CID was not probing these aspects.
The state CID claims to have since issued eight reminders to the Hinjewadi police seeking the three seized items. But the Hinjewadi police has not been able to produce these till now. Sources said the Hinjewadi police replied to the CID that they were searching for the items.
Investigation revealed that Darshana was using her brothers mobile handset on the day she was murdered since she wanted to listen to music. This handset could never be traced. We suspect the murderer took away or damaged this handset, said a police officer. The CID has written to 19 mobile phone companies to get information about this untraced handset.
Darshanas phone was with her brother and it was seized by the Hinjewadi police from her residence. The statements during the seizure,which are available with the CID,confirm that the Hinjewadi police,then headed by senior inspector G S Madgulkar,did seize the three objects.
Superintendent,CID,Pune,Sadanand Wayse Patil,who is the investigation officer,said these three items,if found,could provide crucial clues and electronic evidence for the case.
Polygraph test of witnesses throws up contradictory versions
During the investigation by state CID,the polygraph test of two autorickshaw drivers and Darshanas friend has given contradictory versions.
An autorickshaw driver reportedly revealed during the polygraph test that he had picked up Darshana from Rajaram bridge on Sinhagad Road and dropped her at Bavdhan. The polygraph test of another autorickshaw driver at Rajaram bridge supported his version.
The test of Darshanas friend Abhijit Namdeo Taru (22),also a software engineer,however,revealed that after the two had dinner near Nal stop,they went to his cousins place on Paud Road in an autorickshaw. Here,he took his cousins motorbike and dropped Darshana near the Maratha Mandir Hall in Bavdhan area,where she was later found stabbed.
CID officials are now awaiting the polygraph test reports for taking further action. As per the earlier police version,Darshana had gone with Abhijit for dinner on July 30,after which he had dropped her near Maratha Mandir Hall,near her home in Bavdhan,around 9 pm. After sometime,she was stabbed in the chest and she collapsed on the road. She somehow managed to call Abhijit on his cellphone and told him about the attack.
Darshana had also sought help from one Nirajan Badde,an engineer who was passing by. Badde had tried to chase the murderer but failed as it was dark. Abhijit,meanwhile,reached the spot and took her to the local Om Hospital. But since the nature of injuries was serious,she was soon shifted to Sahyadri hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.