Forensic report gives clean chit to Mumbai Police

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Mumbai, Nov 22 (UNI) The city police heaved a sigh of relief after a report by forensic experts on slain Rahul Raj, a youth from Patna who was killed in a shootout with the police in the eastern suburb of Kurla on October 26, gave a clean chit to the department in the case.

The report indicated that the bullet was shot from a range of 4.5 metres and not from a close range as was thought earlier. Also, there were no signs of gunpowder and burn spots on the wound, police said.

Rahul was shot dead in an encounter after he hijacked a Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) bus number 332, plying between Andheri station and Kurla station, and held some bus passengers captive at gunpoint on October 26. He was apparently upset with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's campaign against north Indians and allegedly wanted to kill him.

The incident raised several issues, and questions were raised about the encounter, with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar reportedly stating that there was no need to kill Raj and he could have been arrested.

Under pressure, the state government instituted a one-man committee, headed by Chief Secretary Johny Joseph, to probe into the matter. He is yet to submit his report.

UNI ST/GS SSS SV RN1900

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