RTI activist Satish Shetty’s murder: Two ex-cops get 14-day judicial custody

PUNE(PTI): A local court today sent to 14-day judicial custody two former policemen arrested in connection with the 2010 murder of Pune-based RTI activist Satish Shetty.

A CBI team produced both the accused B R Andhalkar, former police inspector with local crime branch (LCB) and his subordinate, former Assistant Police Inspector (API) Namdev Kauthale, in Shivajinagar court, where Additional Sessions Judge S B Kachare remanded them to judicial custody. Citing a threat to their clients’ lives inside the jail, counsel of both the accused requested the court to move them to some other jail. However, the court rejected the plea and ordered to keep both the suspects in separate barracks in Yerawada jail.

The defence counsel told the court that their clients were previously attached to the LCB of Pune Rural Police and during their stint, they sent many criminals behind the bars, hence there will be a threat to their lives inside the jail as several such criminals are still inside the prison.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the murder case, had arrested the then police inspector, Andhalkar and Kauthale recently and got their custody to “unearth” the larger conspiracy behind murder.

According to CBI, Andhalkar was arrested after it emerged that he had allegedly “conspired with others and fabricated and manipulated evidence” whereas Kauthale was accused of “creating false evidence and fake eye-witnesses to shield the real conspirators and killers”.

Shetty was murdered in Pune by unidentified assailants when he had stepped out of his house for morning walk at Talegaon Dabhade town in Pune district on January 13, 2010. He had been attacked with swords.

After filing a closure report in a local court in August 2014 saying that it could not find any prosecutable evidence against the suspects, CBI in early 2015 reopened the probe in view of new evidence recovered in searches in Pune and Mumbai.

CBI had carried out the searches at 21 locations to probe allegations of land-grabbing along the Mumbai-Pune Highway on the directions of the Bombay High Court. The case had been reopened following the searches.