HC orders criminal action gainst three police officers

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Mumbai, Mar 3 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to initiate criminal action against three police officers from Kurla Police station for attempting to shield a suspect, who allegedly abetted suicide of a teenaged girl from Bailbazar locality in Kurla here.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices R M S Khandeparkar and Amjad Sayyad, found Police Inspector Dilip Yadav and PSIs Murad Abdul Mulani and Vishwnath Tambe prima facie guilty of protecting an estranged lover Umesh Arote, who allegedly harassed the victim compelling her to commit suicide.

While acting on a petition filed by victim's mother Salma Babu Shaikh Babu Shaikh, the judges observed that the police officers, responsible for her daughter's death, totally neglected suspicion raised by her and closed the case as an accidental death with an intention to shield the suspect, Arote.

The court found that though a complaint was lodged against Arote, a day prior to the incident, no effort was made to trace him.

Salma's daughter, Yasmin, a student of tenth standard, had set herself ablaze by pouring kerosene oil on January 17, 2006.

Yasmin had taken the extreme step immediately after conversation with Arote. Yasmin, who was burnt to the extent of 97 per cent, was admitted to Sion hospital and she succumbed to burn injuries the same day.

The police officers had managed to record her dying declaration, which mentioned that she had taken the extreme step as she had failed to secure good marks in a unit test.

On the basis of the dying declaration, they had closed the case as an accidental death, completely ignoring the suspicion raised by Yasmin's family and also statements of Yasmin's younger sister and Ganesh, which pointed fingers towards Arote.

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