Mangaluru police firing deaths to be probed by officer who investigated 2009 pub attack

The Mangaluru pub attack was not the only controversial point in officer Vinay Gaonkar’s career.
Mangaluru police firing deaths to be probed by officer who investigated 2009 pub attack
Mangaluru police firing deaths to be probed by officer who investigated 2009 pub attack
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The investigation officer of the infamous 2009 Mangaluru pub attack has been appointed as the investigation officer of the December 19 police firing incident which claimed the lives of two people in Mangaluru. 

Vinay Gaonkar, the Assistant Commissioner of Police with the City Crime Records Bureau, has been appointed by the Mangaluru City Police to investigate the deaths of Abdul Jaleel and Nausheen, who were killed in police firing last week near the Mangaluru North (Bunder) Police Station. Vinay has already conducted an inspection of the site of the police firing on Azizuddin Road in Bunder, a port area in Mangaluru.

Vinay was part of the prosecution team that investigated the infamous pub attack in which people gathered at the Amnesia pub in Mangaluru were assaulted by a group of men who charged inside. The attack was caught on camera and beamed on television channels across the country.

The Sri Rama Sene took credit for the attack and Pramod Muthalik, the outfit’s chief, was produced before the 2nd JMFC in Mangaluru in 2009. However, nine years later, the court acquitted him and others due to lack of evidence. The court in its judgement clearly stated that investigating officers could not cite witnesses in the charge sheet of the case.

“The women customers are the victims and they are the best witnesses in this case. If the investigating officer examined them, the real truth would come out. They are the best witnesses to identify the accused persons. Non-securing the victim women is fatal to the prosecution and it creates the doubt in the mind of this court about the involvement of the accused persons as alleged by the prosecution,” the court noted in its judgement.

The court also noted that videos and photographs captured by media persons could not be used as evidence since none of the journalists stepped forward as witnesses. Pramod Muthalik and 30 others accused in the case were acquitted by the court.

This is not the only occasion in which Vinay Gaonkar’s actions have been under the lens.

In 2010, the Dalitha Sangharsha Samithi had demanded action against Vinay for abusing its members who had come forward with a complaint.

In 2011, Muneer Ahmed, a resident of Mangaluru’s Bunder, alleged that Vinay had threatened him for not collecting ‘hafta’ on his behest, Daijiworld reported.

Nevertheless, Vinay Gaonkar has been awarded the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2016 while he was ACP, Cubbon Park sub-division, Bengaluru.

Vinay Gaonkar, as the chief of the anti-rowdy squad, was also said to be instrumental in the arrest of associates of underworld don Bannanje Raja.

Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)

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