Recovery of bullet nearly a year-and-a-half after the incident raises questions on botched up probe
Mystery deepens: The mystery of this “suicide” has further deepened as there is no investigation report of the 3 shots fired out of a service pistol of 9 mm calibre which is a very powerful and loud weapon when fired. It is surprising that nobody heard the gun shot and reacted.
Madikeri: Officers of the Special Crime Branch of Central Bureau of Investigation (Chennai Zone), who yesterday visited the lodge in Madikeri where Dy.SP M.K. Ganapathy’s body was found hanging on July 7, 2016, have reportedly found a bullet in his room. The CBI team is headed by Dy.SP G. Kalaimani.
Ganapathy was found hanging in room number 315 of the Vinayaka Lodge near the Madikeri Private Bus Stand. Ganapathy had given an interview shortly before to a local television channel making various accusations against Minister K.J. George and two senior police officers, Pranab Mohanty and A.M. Prasad.
Experts from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Delhi, accompanied CBI sleuths to the crime scene and conducted a mahazar during which the bullet was recovered from the bed, sources in the lodge confirmed.
A 10-member team, including CBI officials, spent almost the entire day at the lodge yesterday. As soon as the CBI team arrived in Madikeri yesterday, Ganapathy’s brother Satish Machaiah was informed and the team collected basic information. Later, Madikeri Town Circle Inspector I.P. Medappa and Inspector M. Bharath were taken to Vinayaka Lodge.
The room, which was opened for the lodge’s customers after the CID submitted a ‘B report’ closing its investigation into the case, was seized by the CBI sleuths, who thoroughly examined it in the presence of Ganapathy’s family members.
The CBI team also questioned two men, Jagan and Belliappa from the lodge, who had provided evidence in the case as well as the doctor who conducted the autopsy, Tahsildar Girija, who held the inquest. The CBI team grilled Circle Inspector I.P. Medappa and Inspector M. Bharath and re-created the crime scene at the lodge.
The team questioned the Police officers why the employees of the lodge were not interrogated. The team asked the Police officers to describe the events that occurred on the day of the Dy.SP’s death on July 7, in which of the two ceiling fans the body was found, how come a belt was used to hang, how was it brought down, who were among present at the time, who informed them about the death and all the other details.
Examining the room inch-by-inch, the forensic experts found the bullet on the bed, sources said. Out of the 10 rounds in Ganapathy’s 9 mm service pistol, two bullets were fired and the empty cartridges were found during the initial mahazar conducted by the Police and the CID. Yesterday, one more bullet (the third) was found by the forensic team.
Amidst allegations by Opposition-BJP that the investigations by the State Police were botched up, the recovery of a new bullet from the crime scene nearly a year-and-a-half after the incident, is only expected to further raise questions.
However, a senior Police official in Kodagu said Ganapathy had fired two rounds from his service revolver before he allegedly hanged himself to death. During the earlier investigations at the crime scene, the sleuths had recovered empty cartridges. The CBI team may have recovered a bullet that had been embedded in the bed, the Police officer said. Also, the lodge room had been in use by customers for the last eight months.
While his service revolver was on the bed below the ceiling fan where he was found hanging from, the Police confirmed that shots had been fired from the revolver. CID investigations later inferred that Ganapathy, who was in full uniform while hanging himself, had fired at the bed with his revolver, in a last minute survival mechanism by the body.
Sources at Vinayaka Lodge said that the room was locked up till the CID completed its probe in September 2016, but later rented out to customers. “It was again locked up two weeks ago after CBI officials started their probe and instructed us to do so,” an employee said. The CBI took over the probe into the case in the third week of October, following a Supreme Court direction.