A cop all over, cooks up evidence

Bengaluru, Nov. 20: When a city police inspector claims that he was in two different places at a given time on the same day, something seems to have gone terribly wrong.

The officer is A. Manjunath, currently serving as police inspector with city special branch. He was inspector at Yeshwanthpur police station when the incident happened in 2007.

According to the station diary, Manjunath was at the station and with an accused, writing a panchnama at the same time. On another day, he claims he was busy recording the statement of five witnesses, while his official papers say he was on leave, sanctioned by none other than his DGP!

The police also seems to have duped the court by submitting a dead man’s witness statement, which made the court even issue summons asking the deceased to be present for the hearing.

Mr R. Kumar (name changed) was accused of dowry harassment by his wife who visited the station on July 26, 2007. “She filed a complaint at 1.45 pm. Inspector Manjunath claims he visited my residence between 2 pm and four pm on the same day for panchanama. But his station diary shows he was present in the station till 4 pm”, claimed Kumar.

Again, Manjunath claims that he recorded the statements of five witnesses on July 30, 2007 including one of a doctor. “But his office files say he was in Mysore after getting two days’ leave, sanctioned by his DGP,” said Kumar.

More intriguing is the fact that one of the witnesses had died the previous day on July 29, after he spent more than 10 hours in coma. So how did the inspector took his statement?

According to R. Kumar, the trouble begun soon after his wife filed the dowry harassment complaint. “Just one month after our marriage, I realised that my wife was suffering from a sexually transmitted disease. On questioning her, she admitted to a premarital affair with another man” he said.

Later, she returned to her parents after a gynaecologist advised her treatment. “We mutually decided to go for a divorce and approached the family court in 2005. But I was shocked when she filed a dowry harassment complaint against me” said 32-year-old Kumar, a private company employee.

He also alleged that Manjunath not only detained him illegally for a day, but pestered him to shell out money to ‘settle the issue’.

“Dejected over the false allegations, my 62-year-old father attempted suicide by consuming poison. Instead of showing some mercy, the Yeshwanthapur police even threatened to arrest me”, says Kumar, who later approached Lokayukta with all the documents, which he obtained with the help of RTI. According to Kumar, Lokayukta asked the police officer about obtaining a dead man’s statement on which Manjunath claimed he took his statement on July 29, 2007, hours before he died. “Again his office records say he was on bundobust duty following a strike by KSRTC employees” said Kumar.

The investigating police officials have erred right from the FIR to the witness statement” claimed Kumar.

When contacted, Manjunath said the confusion over the date was because of a technical and manual error. “The computer operator wrongly entered the date as July 30 instead of July 29. In a hurry, I signed a letter dated July 30,” he said. He however refused to comment further on the issue.

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