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Archive for November 23rd, 2006


Posted by ajadhind on November 23, 2006

A Man called Macha!
Manjunath Shanmugam is a name and face that not many from the batches of MBAs that passed through IIM Lucknow during 2002-2004 were going to forget. Then he went and made sure that not just these MBAs but the entire country would remember him forever.
The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust (MST) commemorates the First Death Anniversary of Manjunath Shanmugam on Sunday, November 19th, 2006.

Manjunath Shanmugam was born on February 23rd, 1978. He was the oldest of three siblings and leaves behind his parents, a younger brother and sister. His father works in BEML in Kolar Gold Fields, a township about 100 km from Bangalore.
After finishing his engineering from SJCE Mysore, Manjunath completed his MBA from I.I.M Lucknow, and graduated in 2003. He joined IOCL during campus placements, and was the first sales officer to manage the Lakhimpur Khiri region of UP – a known hotbed of petroleum adulteration.

The Kheri police have filed the chargesheet against all eight accused in the sensational murder case of IOC executive Manjunath. The accused are already in jail.Manjunath, an IIM-Lucknow graduate, was allegedly shot dead on November 19 last year at Mittal Automobile Petrol pump in the Gola Gokarn area of Kheri district. His body was recovered in an area under the Sitapur district, bordering Kheri.
Main accused in the case Pawan Kumar Mittal alias Monu is son of the petrol pump’s owner. Manjunath had warned Monu and others that the pump would be sealed if it didn’t stop selling adulterated diesel. On the day of his murder, Manjunath had gone to the pump to check if the owners had paid heed to his directions.

Superintendent of Police Zaki Ahmed said that the chargesheet against the accused was submitted to the court on February 15. ‘‘Since the chain of evidence is established in our investigation, we feel the case would reach its logical end,’’ Ahmed said.
According to the investigating officer in the case, PK Shukla, it was a difficult case as the locations of the recovery of the IOC officer’s body and the site of his killing were not the same. ‘‘So we began our investigation from the site of his killing—Mittal Automobile Petrol Pump—and built our case on the evidence. I feel our investigation has sealed the fate of all the accused,’’ Shukla said.
He added that although there were no eyewitnesses, the case diary was based on scientific investigation. Moreover, Manjunath’s cellphone was recovered on the basis of disclosure made by Monu. ‘‘Any accused person’s confession leading to a recovery is considered to be a strong evidence in the court. Moreover, the recovery of Manjunath’s cellphone was made after we took Monu in police remand.’’
Regarding the absence of eyewitnesses in this case, Shukla said: ‘‘A witness may turn hostile during the trial of the case. But the clinching evidence collected by us would remain intact.’’
Police sources said that the case diary included the statements of those whom Monu had contacted over his cellphone soon after the execution of Manjunath’s murder.
The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) reports after testing the empty cartridges, weapons and blood samples have already supported the police investigation. The cartridges were recovered from the oil tanker of the pump and Manjunth’s clothes were seized from the backyard of the pump.
The eight accused are: Rakesh Anand, Vivek Sharma, Pawan Kumar alias Monu, Lallah Giri, Sanjay Awasthi, Rajesh Verma, Harish Mishra and Devesh Agnihotri.

Harish Misra, has been granted bail by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. While he is not one of the main accused – he was a pump employee and charged with destroying evidence.

COURT TRIAL:-An important witness , RK Zutshi , Manjunath’s erstwhile boss at IOC was presented in court. Manjunath had a long telephone conversation with Zutshi on November 19th – the day of his murder. Manjunath was , Zutshi said , headed to inspect a few pumps suspected of adulteration; one of which was the Mittal Automobile petrol pump
As per an earlier inspection conducted by Manjunath on 13th September 2005,a fine of Rs.75000/- was imposed and paid by the Mittal petrol pump. As a result the pump had remained closed for a month.If adulteration had been detected again, the dealership would have been terminated.
Zutshi also confirmed the finding of 3 bullet cartridges from the diesel tank at the pump .
On the second day of hearing i.e. 22nd Sep, during cross-examination of Mr. Zutshi, the defence counsel claimed that it was because of Manju’s intervention that a pump in Monu’s sister’s name was established at Sisokand. Zutshi’s answers proved these claims false as Manju had only recommended that a pump should be set up in the area and the same was set up at his (Zutshi’s) orders
One witness turned hostile , making it a total of 4 thus far. A local journalist (’Amar Ujala’ publication) who had earlier submitted in writing that Monu had indeed called him, among 2 others, for help after the crime,claimed to have done so under police pressure. This witness fumbled under cross-examination by prosecution after he was declared hostile;and was not critical to the case, maintains our lawyer, Mr.I B Singh who was present through the proceedings.
Two police men ,a constable Kaushik Prasad and a sub-inspector TN Tripathi were also examined.The latter had conducted the enquiry against Monu(main accused) and Rajesh Verma(an accomplice)as both these men were found armed without carrying a license which is mandatory as per law
Zutshi’s statements bring in a lot of much required hope to the prosecution as they help establish the immediate motive of murder and prove the strength of our case

3 witnesses produced by prosecution – (a)the person who actually went into the diesel tank and recovered the cartridges, with IOC and police as witnesses (b) the doctor who conducted the post-mortem examination and (c) a constable – small role, who transported papers from local to Gola main police station.
The first person, Babu Khan, was obviously important and held strong and consistent during cross examination. The recovery of the cartridges from the Mittal petrol pump diesel holding tank – which is locked and only Monu had the key – is a key piece of evidence. The other two were routine and hardly cross-examined.
Day two saw havaldar Krishna Mohan Mishra being produced. He was present at most of the arrests and recovery of Manju’s cell phone,and other items. Defence raised queries such as: (a)The inspector didn’t book Rajesh etc., when they were found on the Alto with no valid papers of the vehicle, under the Motor Vehicle Act.(b) Why any member of the public wasn’t made a witness to the arrest near the railway station., and so on. Nothing major.



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