Agency burns evidence

Date: 
2006-06-25

Ruksh Chatterji
CNN-IBN

Pune: The Maharashtra government has not taken any action even a week after CNN-IBN exposed the adoption racket being run out of Preet Mandir in Pune. And that has given ample time to the alleged culprits to burn some of the evidence.

This is perhaps the most damning indictment of the Maharashtra government. Embers and ash is all that remains of the possibly crucial evidence of the activities of Preet Mandir.

“I saw a man in a striped shirt come and set all these files on fire at about 1130 hours IST,” an eyewitness, Anjali Sreedhar said.

When this CNN-IBN correspondent reached the spot, the ashes were still hot and it's only after an alarm was raised that policemen rushed into Preet Mandir but only to reluctantly take note of what of the goings on.
“Yes, yes, we are observing everything. Our officers have taken the burnt papers to the police station,” a constable said.

But Preet Madir blatantly continues its activities and this is because of a local Shiv Sena leader, Amar Sankhe. He is always in the shadows but was seen outside the gates with men in-charge of the security of the adoption agency.

His pictures are on the party hoardings with none other than Sena chief Bal Thackeray and son, Uddhav.

“Yes, I work here. And I also do work apart from this place,” Sankhe said.
But that's not all. The Child Welfare Committee continued to shirk responsibility with Chairman, A K Banerjee, unwilling to file a complaint and spoke to CNN-IBN only on the phone.

CNN-IBN: Sir, why are you not coming to file a complaint?

A K Banerjee: No, I am out of station. The court has to direct the proceedings. I I cannot do anything.

So, the only complaint filed at the police station was by CNN-IBN and a member of the Juvenile Justice Board. But, why isn't the ministry taking action?

“I spoke to Assistant Commissioner Mr Desawale. He didn’t think it important whether the papers were burnt or not,” member, Childline, Dr Anuradha Sahasrabudhe said.

It would seem even the police patronise Preet Mandir. A Sumo parked inside the police station belongs to Unit III of Preet Mandir in Aurangabad.
The car papers confirmed this and it is the vehicle in which the possibly incriminating documents were taken away to be hidden in case of possible raids.

When CNN-IBN asked the driver of the car about the papers he said, “I don’t want to say anything. I don’t know anything.”

Why is the driver of this car actually hiding inside the police station? And why is this Sumo parked in the station? It's these tough questions the government will have to answer along with explanations on the links between the politicians and Preet Mandir.

These question could also lead to more disturbing ones like how is the administration linked to Preet Mandir and what connection do the police have with the adoption agency.

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