Mumbai: In yet another twist in the tale of the missing bullet-proof jacket of former Mahrashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare who was killed during the 26/11 terror strikes, a sweeper at JJ Hospital claimed on Wednesday that he put the jacket in a disposal bag.
The statement of the sweeper Dinesh Lalji Gatar to a magistrate comes more than a year after Karkare and two other senior police officers were killed by Pakistani terrorists during the 26/11 strikes.
"On the night of November 27, after Karkare`s body was brought to JJ hospital for autopsy, I had mistakenly put the jacket along with bio-medical and non-medical waste in
polythene bags which was sent to the Deonar dump grounds for disposal," the sweeper said in the statement.
The statement evoked a sharp reaction from Kavita Karkare, wife of the slain officer, who said, "This theory had cropped up now because the government is under pressure.
"I have lost all hopes to get fair justice in this case. I do not believe in this. The government is under pressure and hence this statement at a late juncture," she told agency.
Meanwhile, the lawyer who filed the RTI application to find the jacket has rubbished the claims of the sweeper and called it a big cover-up by the police.
The complainant`s lawyer Y P Singh questioned the emergence of this sweeper out of nowhere and said that senior officers will get involved in the probe.
He also said that the sweeper story is eyewash by the crime branch.
Earlier on December 8, police had registered an FIR against unidentified persons for allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy and stealing bullet-proof jacket of former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 terror attacks near Cama hospital.
The FIR was registered in J J Marg police station in south Mumbai on an order passed by Mazgaon metropolitan magistrate following a complaint made by social activist Santosh Daundkar in this regard.
The magistrate had ordered the police to probe the missing jacket of Karkare and file an FIR.
The accused were booked under sections 379 (theft) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, Senior Inspector Khanderao Patil had said.
"According to the complainant, the bullet proof jacket was lost after Karkare was taken to J J Hospital for post- mortem report. We are probing the matter in all possible angles," said Patil, refusing to divulge further details.