The Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) probe into the death of police sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande has found that a bullet fired from a service pistol belonging to the police had led to his death. The report also gave a clean chit to Wazir Ahmed, IGP (North-Eastern range), who had been under a cloud following the death of Bande in the shootout.
The 9mm bullet, shot from a .38 pistol provided to policemen, has been sent for a DNA test in order to confirm that it was the same bullet that pierced through Bande’s head. The blood stains on the bullet will be matched with Bande’s DNA to get a clear picture.
Highly placed sources said that on the evening of Jan 8, Bande, a PSI at Station Bazaar station in Gulbarga, returned home from a function when he received a call that contract killer Munna Darbadar was hiding in his house. Bande rushed to the spot, but forgot to carry his service pistol with him.
“Bande along with colleagues, PSIs Murali, Hemanth Kumar and ASI Udandappa, went to Munna’s house,” said a source. “When Munna tried to escape, he was shot in the leg, but he managed to escape. The police team followed the trail of blood and found Munna hiding in a house, about 500 meters from his house. As Bande’s team cornered him, Munna shot a bullet from his country-made revolver injuring PSI Murali in his right arm. As he collapsed, Munna snatched his service pistol. PSI Hemanth Kumar was laying on his belly and waiting to fire while ASI Udandappa tried to enter the house.”
“As Munna started firing randomly, Udandappa sustained bullet injuries. As his teammates cried for help, Bande tried to pounce on Munna, who shot a bullet right through his forehead from a very close range. However, it is not clear who gunned down Munna after that,” the source added.
“Going by the high velocity of the bullet, the forensic science laboratory’s ballistic experts said it was a police bullet which killed Bande, as a bullet shot with a country-made weapon will have low velocity and would not be able to pierce the body,” the source said. More than ten bullets were fired in the incident. Ballistic experts have confirmed that Munna shot Bande, going by the direction of the firing.
The probe also ruled out the involvement of IGP Wazir Ahmed in the case. “It’s true that there was some tussle between the IGP and Bande. But the IGP has nothing to do with the incident,” the source added.
Munna was accused of giving shelter to an accused in the Muthoot Finance Corporation robbery case in which Rs 1.6 crore had been looted in September last year. Bande’s team had gone to nab Munna in order to question him about the case. “In fact, it was not even necessary to arrest Munna. However, enthusiasm and lack of experience of young officers led to the tragedy.”
PSI Bande died a week after the encounter. His wife had held IGP Wazir Ahmed responsible for Bande’s death, while Munna’s wife alleged that policemen had shot Bande. The opposition leaders, including Jagadish Shettar, had created a hue and cry in the state assembly and demanded a CBI probe.
Under pressure, the state government asked the CID to probe into the incident. The CID is likely to submit the report within two weeks.