A district court here on Thursday commenced its trial in the case relating to the acid attack on S.S. Batave, former Air India (AI) Airport Security Manager, in front of his rented house here in April 2008.
The police had earlier arraigned four persons, including Air India Airport Operations Manager S. Rajeshwaran, on charges of conspiracy and attempt to murder in the case.
Second Additional Sessions Judge Ambika heard Mr. Batave’s statement in the case. The other accused were Asok Kumar, 29, assistant manager of Universal Aviation (UA), a manpower supply company contracted by AI for baggage handling inside the airport; Santosh, 30; and Shojan, 30.
The police case was S. Rajeswaran and Asok Kumar hired Santosh and Shojan (promising them money and employment) to kill Mr. Batave, out of enmity. Mr. Batave suffered debilitating third-degree burns in the attack.
Mr. Batave, apparently an upright officer and stickler for rules, had written several letters to the AI accusing Rajeswaran of corruption.
He had also reportedly exposed the corrupt nexus between certain UA staff and AI officials.
The police had submitted as evidence attested copies of e-mails Mr. Batave had sent to AI Station Manager A.H. Munaff exposing the corrupt practices and security breaches inside the airport.
Mr. Batave had expelled Asok Kumar’s brother, a UA staffer, for using a fake pass to enter the airport. He reprimanded Asok Kumar for loitering near an airliner preparing for take off on the latter’s off day. He denied Asok Kumar permanent airport entry pass on the ground of suspicious conduct.