For the first time the Aadhaar scheme, the unique identification project that maintains a database of residents containing biometric and other data, will be used by an investigating agency to probe a criminal case. The Government Railway Police (GRP), which is in parallel probing the murder of the 23 year old software engineer from Andhra Pradesh whose body was found in a swamp off the Eastern Express Highway on January 16th along with the Mumbai Police, plans to approach Aadhaar enrolment centres in Mumbai requesting them to share their database with them.
Explaining the plan, the police says, they have approached the network providers whose towers are close to Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (the train station where she alighted before going missing) and Bhandup, a central suburb of Mumbai from where the victim's body was found. The police have sought a list of numbers from which calls were made and received between 4.45 am to 6am on January 5th. The police then plans to feed these numbers in the Aadhaar data system and get the identification details of these numbers. They will be then matched with the man seen in the CCTV footage, the police said.
In December last year, the victim who hailed from Machilipatnam in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh had gone to her hometown to celebrate Christmas with her family. She took a train back to Mumbai on January 4th but went missing on January 5th morning after alighting at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.
Last week the GRP procured the CCTV footage from LTT. In the footage at 4.55 am on January 5th morning, the victim is seen alighting at platform number 3 of LTT but instead of walking straight to the exit she is seen taking a turn and walking towards the common waiting room looking for someone. Minutes later at 5.11 am she is seen between platform number 4 and 5. At this spot she meets a person who is later seen wheeling her trolley bag for around 15 feet. All along the victim is talking to someone on the mobile phone while the other person is carrying her bag and both are moving towards the exit gate.
This person seen in the footage whose identity is yet to be ascertained is seen wearing a white collared half-sleeves T-shirt and blue denim. He is between 38 to 42 years of age, well built, bald and has a moustache.
The police who are yet to get a breakthrough claims, this might be a tedious route but will act as irrefutable evidence in the court of law.
The GRP has also sought help from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and will scan the photograph of the man seen in the CCTV grab along with the victim minutes before she went missing with those in the RTO record.
“We suspect the person seen in the footage to be a fleet cab driver. We have approached the RTO on the premise that he might have procured a licence. The Cyber wing has enhanced the resolution of the picture and this will be scanned with those available on RTO database," sources told The Hindu.
Earlier this week, the Mumbai police had detained a close friend of the victim suspecting his role in her murder. But the police has allowed him to go after recording his statement.
"He has been able to clear some of the doubts that made us treat him as a suspect. We have not given him a clean chit yet, but for the time being we have released him after recording his statement," sources added.