The narco-analysis tests conducted on Vijay Palande, accused of murdering businessman Arun Tikku, aspiring producer Karan Kakkar and a third unidentified person, and aide Dhananjay Shinde failed to yield any lead. But, the crime branch claims that supporting tests conducted on Palande by the Kalina forensic science laboratory (FSL) have compensated for this.
Sources say while Palande did not reveal anything substantial at his narco test, many of his “secrets”, such as those indicating his knowledge of the presence of the skull [of the third alleged victim] at the Kumbharli Ghat, were disclosed during polygraph and brain mapping tests conducted earlier on him. Shinde was also subjected to similar tests.
On the possibility of having a go at another narco test, a source says, “Such a decision has to be taken judiciously. These scientific tests are anyway not admitted in court as evidence. They are merely meant to give the police clues. In Palande’s case, the supporting tests have given the police the necessary leads which will help them in asking more pointed questions.”
Rukmini Krishnamurthy, former director of Kalina FSL, says there is no need to lose heart over Palande’s disappointing narco test. “The narco-analysis does not need to be seen in isolation. If the result of one disappoints, another may give you a lead.”
FSL sources say a report on Palande and Shinde’s narco tests was handed over to the crime branch on Tuesday. A source reveals that all tests conducted on Shinde were inconclusive. “Ït is possible that he is unaware of the details of the skull since he may have been Palande’s aide in other cases.”
Crime branch officials had on April 16 recovered a torso and a skull from Kumbhari Ghat in Ratnagiri district, where Palande had allegedly dumped Kakkar’s remains. While DNA tests confirmed that the torso was Kakkar’s, the skull wasn’t his. Subsequently, the police was granted court permission to conduct a narco test on Palande and Shinde to zero in on the identity of the person whose skull was recovered.