CBI raids IRB chief’s aide in murder probe

Pune: RTI activist Satish Shetty killed in 2010; he had claimed a threat from Virendra Mhaiskar

Written by AADITI JATHAR LAKADE | Pune | Published: October 24, 2012 12:59:11 am

About a year before he was murdered,RTI activist Satish Shetty had lodged a complaint with the Pune Police Crime Branch about an alleged land scam involving Virendra Dattatreya Mhaiskar,the businessman whose IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd allegedly gave a large loan to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari’s Purti Group as a purported return favour for Maharashtra PWD contracts received when Gadkari was PWD minister.

The Central Bureau of Investigation Tuesday raided 11 places including the Pune residence and office of advocate Ajit Kulkarni,counsel for IRB,in connection with Satish Shetty’s murder.

Kulkarni’s office said the lawyer was not present during the raids. “Advocate Kulkarni is out of town… He was at Bombay High Court,” a person who received the call from The Indian Express said. Asked if the CBI had searched Kulkarni’s office,the person said,“No”.

Satish Shetty was murdered at Talegaon Dabhade town in Pune district on January 13,2010. Police records show that a year before the murder,Satish Shetty had filed a complaint with the Crime Branch of Pune Rural police about an alleged land scam involving IRB chairman Virendra Mhaiskar.

The complaint alleged that IRB and one of its subsidiary companies had,along with some local farmers,prepared fake documents about government land.

The Lonavla police had then registered a complaint of cheating against Mhaiskar and 12 others.

On November 24,2009,Satish Shetty wrote to Pratap Dighavkar,the then superintendent of police,Pune Rural,saying he was receiving threats to his life,and sought police protection.

After Satish Shetty’s murder,his brother Sandip Shetty sought a CBI inquiry in the case,alleging that Satish’s request for protection was ignored. In an affidavit filed in Bombay High Court in March 2011,Sandip also named Mhaiskar.

In May 2012,the CBI — which had taken over the probe in September 2010 — asked a Pune court for permission to conduct polygraph tests on several people associated with IRB,including Mhaiskar and advocate Kulkarni.

The test was essential to unearth the larger conspiracy,involving influential persons,behind Shetty’s murder,CBI told the court.

After the court accepted the request,as many as 21 people,including Mhaiskar and six policemen from the Pune Rural police,were put through the test. The CBI has termed the findings ‘confidential’,and will release them in court at the proper stage of the trial.

Hostage case: SP suspended

A police officer,who was taken “hostage” by a dismissed constable,was suspended Tuesday for “involvement in the hostage”.

The Andhra Pradesh government which placed SP E Lakshmi Narayana under suspension,pending initiation of disciplinary proceedings,took note of the report of an inquiry officer appointed by DGP V Dinesh Reddy,which probed the “abduction” incident.

K N Giriprasad Sarma who held the SP “captive” to protest alleged harassment,on September 12,at a lodge for nearly four hours,had released him after the DGP,telephoned him and finally persuaded him in this regard.

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