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Ex-crime branch official arrested for RTI activist’s murder

The questioning of a former Pune police officer BR Andhalkar has given “vital clues” to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about a conspiracy relating to the murder of RTI activist Satish Shetty six years ago, resulting in the arrest of another former Crime branch official Namdev Sukhdev Kauthale.

The CBI arrested Kauthale, then Assistant Police Inspector (API) with the Crime Branch, late Sunday night, agency sources said. It is suspected that both the ex-crime branch officers knew the conspiracy and had actively taken part in attempts to shield the main accused, they said.

“It was alleged that the then API was involved in the initial investigation. He had allegedly conspired with perpetrators of the crime and in furtherance of that created false evidence and fake eye-witnesses implicating five persons to shield the real conspirators and killers,” a CBI Spokesperson said.

The agency is likely to make some more arrests soon in the case, the sources said. A court on Monday sent Kauthale to CBI custody till April 16.

Kauthale was taken into custody after his alleged role surfaced during the questioning of Andhalkar, the then police inspector also with the crime branch, who was arrested on April 6 for allegedly conspiring with others in Shetty’s murder in 2010.
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