The crime branch is yet to begin recording the statements of the 291 prison inmates.
Mumbai: The investigation into the murder of Byculla women’s prison inmate Manju Shetye, received a shot in the arm when the Mumbai crime branch managed to get its hands on the CCTV camera footage, which shows the six jail staffers brutally assaulting her on June 23, which ultimately led to her death. The crime branch told the Esplanade Court on Friday, that the footage revealed the role of all six accused, adding that there were more ‘objectionable’ details pertaining to the incident which came to the fore, hinting at the sexual assault on Shetye, which could not be revealed in open court.
The Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) at Kalina extracted the incriminating CCTV footage from the Network Video Recorder (NVR), which was seized from the prison premises and sent for analysis. Prison inmates had damaged the NVR and the two CCTV cameras during the rioting that had broken out in the barracks on June 24, in protest against Shetye’s murder.
Crime branch officials sought an extension on the custody of the arrested jail staffers Manisha Pokharkar, Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh, Sheetal Shegokar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shigane, from the Esplanade court on Friday and the court responded with an extension till July 14.
Investigation officer, Prabha Raul told the court, “The accused are not cooperating with the investigation and are not revealing the motive behind the attack. We are yet to find the sticks that were used in the crime and they are not revealing anything pertaining to these weapons (used in the crime).”
The investigators also told the court that they are yet to discover if any more prison officers or personnel had a direct or indirect role to play in Shetye’s murder. The crime branch is yet to begin recording the statements of the 291 prison inmates. Raul told the court, “We have only questioned the inmates, however recording their statement formally is yet to begin as it requires permission of the court or prison chief. Only after the court’s permission, can the statements be recorded and the accused would then be questioned based on the facts that come to the fore.”