Chembur man's death: Probe handed to crime branch

A city civil sessions court was informed that the Mumbai Police chief has transferred the probe in the murder of a suburban Chembur based man to the city's crime branch unit. This is a significant development in the murder case of Balu Gavale, who was allegedly killed in an altercation followed by assault over a trivial issue it maintaining social distance.

The city police through assistant police commissioner Mahesh Toraskar, informed the sessions court that the probe in the matter has now been transferred from Chembur police station to the crime branch unit.

Notably, Gavale,was allegedly assaulted by a group of four men on June 1 near a public toilet, next to his house in Collector Colony, Chembur. The group had an altercation with Gavale over maintaining social distance in the toilet line.

Gavale was declared brought dead on the night of June 1 at Shatabdi hospital at Chembur. However, the police did not lodge any First Information Report (FIR) despite his son - Rajesh filing a complaint with the Chembur police station.

The family had then refused to claim his body alleging that his first autopsy was "fixed" and thus had petitioned the Bombay High Court through advocate Prashant Pandey. The family primarily sought transfer of the probe to the CID and also a second autopsy.

Accordingly, a second post-mortem was conducted giving similar conclusions that Gavale died a natural death.

"The city police filed an affidavit in the court, which is seized with a case. The affidavit states that the top cop has transferred the probe from Chembur police station to city's crime branch unit," Pandey told the Free Press Journal.

In the affidavit, the police opposed granting bail to the three accused in the case on the ground that the top brass of the city police force has decided to transfer the probe to the crime branch unit.

The police has further claimed that it would need more time to probe the case further since it will have to ascertain whether there is any other motive behind the assault. The police has also sought further time to probe if there was any political intent behind the attack.

The police has further opposed the bail pleas pointing out that all the accused as well as the victims and the witnesses live in the same vicinity and thus there are chances of the accused persons tampering with the evidence and also influencing the witnesses.

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