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This article was first published 7 years ago  » News » 'Influential' people suppressed Sheena murder for 3 yrs: Maria

'Influential' people suppressed Sheena murder for 3 yrs: Maria

By Dnyanesh Chavan
January 30, 2017 23:05 IST
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In a startling disclosure a day before he retires from the police force, Indian Police Service officer Rakesh Maria on Monday said ‘influential and wealthy people’ suppressed the Sheena Bora murder -- in which her mother Indrani Mukerjea and former media baron Peter Mukerjea are among those arrested -- for three years.

“The Sheena Bora murder was kept under wraps by influential and wealthy people for three years,” said Maria, Director General and Commandant of Home Guards, in an interview.

He, however, did not name these ‘influential and wealthy people’.

Maria also lamented that cops who investigated the sensational murder case, which hogged national limelight for a long time, did not get the due credit.

“I feel bad for the team which remained unrecognised and did not get credit for the detection and a good job done by them,” Maria said. The case was later transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Known for his investigation skills, Maria, who rose to fame with the cracking of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, and who also probed the 26/11 terror attacks, retires on Tuesday after 36 years of service in Maharashtra Police.

He was transferred in September 2015, days before his tenure as Mumbai Police Commissioner was to end, amid reports that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was not happy that he took ‘undue’ interest in the investigation of Sheena Bora murder case.

“This was among the best detections in recent years. I was involved in this case because of my weakness for good investigations and interrogation,” he said.

“After the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, it also followed our line of investigation. They investigated the case in the same manner in which we did,” the senior officer said.

Maria, who also headed the state Anti-Terrorist Squad and Crime Branch of Mumbai Police, credited his team for their contribution in cracking several prominent cases and also his seniors for trusting his investigation skills.

“It was my team in the crime branch which busted the Indian Mujahideen terror module, at a time when not many knew about its existence,” Maria said.

The 1981 batch IPS officer said after hanging his boots, he planned to pen a memoir.

The memoir will contain hitherto undisclosed facts about several investigations, including the Neeraj Grover murder case in which, during his first meeting with the small-time TV actor Maria Susairaj he suspected she was the culprit, a hunch which came true, the IPS officer said.

Responding to allegations that he ‘dithered’ in bringing the Sheena murder case to conclusion soon, Maria said, “My team detected the Sheena murder case, and had I wished otherwise, we would not have detected the case and made the progress we did.

“A month before my promotion as DG, I had met then ACS (Additional Chief Secretary) Home K P Bakshi and CM’s Principal Secretary Pravinsinh Pardeshi, to request to give me the post of DG Home Guard or State Security Corporation as my tenure as Mumbai CP was ending,” he said, denying that he was ‘shunted out’.

Speaking on allegations by some of the kin of 26/11 terror attack martyrs that adequate force was not rushed to help them near Cama Hospital, Maria said, “Seven or eight minutes before the officers’ vehicle was attacked in the Rangbhavan lane, then ATS chief Hemant Karkare and another senior IPS officer spoke on wireless.

“During that talk, Karkare mentioned that police force including crime branch team and Quick Response Team were with them and they were going to surround the place,” Maria said.

Talking about the murder of the rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Maria said, “After the government asked us to crack the killing, our probe was on the right track.

“However, after reports of the Forensic Science Lab (FSL) about weapon used in the murder came, it got diverted,” he said.

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Dnyanesh Chavan
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