Cops submit chargeeet in Manjula Shetye murder

Jail staffers Bindu Naikode, Manisha Pokharkar, Wazima Sheikh, Sheetal Shegavkar, Surekha Gulwe and Aarti Shingne were arrested

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Cops submit chargeeet in Manjula Shetye murder


    The Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Tuesday submitted a 990-page chargesheet at the Esplanade Court at Azad Maidan against six female Byculla prison staffers in connection with the murder of Manjula Shetye, who was lodged in the prison.

    The evidence furnished in the chargesheet includes the statement of Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea, who was Shetye's co-inmate and had raised her voice against the assault on Shetye by prison staff. It also includes a statement by another co-inmate Vaishali Mudane, who, when produced in a Sessions Court in a corruption case, had narrated how the assault took place.

    The magistrate court, however, is yet to take cognizance of the chargesheet. It contains 182 witness statements, of which 97 are of jail inmates, while the remaining are from jail officials and doctors.

    Jail staffers Bindu Naikode, Manisha Pokharkar, Wazima Sheikh, Sheetal Shegavkar, Surekha Gulwe and Aarti Shingne were arrested.

    They were also charged with Sections of murder, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation and common intention.

    An officer, who was part of the probe, said, "The chargesheet includes the statements of two important witnesses, Indrani Mukerjea and Vaishali Mudane, who had testified against the jail staffers. We will be also submitting footage taken from the CCTV camera from inside Byculla prison. It is not attached with the charge sheet, and will be submitted with the muddemaal (other documents)."

    Prosecutor Rajendra Suryawanshi said, "Once the court takes cognizance of the document, copies of the same will be served to the accused in jail, while the document will be sent to the Sessions Court."

    On July 06, 2017, DNA, had published Mudane's account to the Sessions Court about how Shetye was allegedly assaulted and left to die by the accused jail staffers. Mudane shared a barrack with Indrani and others in Byculla prison.

    While Shetye was serving her sentence at the Central Yerwada Women's Jail, she was promoted from inmate to warden due to good behavior, and was transferred to Byculla jail on June 23.

    According to the police, Shetye's growing influence on other inmates was a cause for concern for the prison staff, and the immediate provocation for the assault on July 22 was her questioning about the lesser quantity of rations being supplied in the barracks.

    Police sources said the chargesheet makes no mention of any evidence to suggest that Shetye was sexually assaulted prior to her death, as was claimed by her family and some co-inmates.

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