“How can I be Bitti Mohanty when all my documents show I am Raghav Rajan?”
A day after the arrest of convicted rapist Bittihotra Mohanty in Kannur, the immediate concern of the investigators seems to be to prove that Raghav Rajan is indeed the runaway criminal.
A Jaipur police team was set to leave for Kerala. It was not immediately clear whether it would go to Thiruvananthapuram first or go directly to the northern Kerala town of Kannur.
Jaipur Additional Commissioner of Police Biju George Joseph told The Hindu: “We will send a four-member team, with a production warrant, to bring him back. For identification purposes, we are sending the officer who arrested him in 2006.”
But before all that, officers of the Lal Kothi police station in Jaipur, where a first information report was filed in December 2006 against Bitti Mohanty under Section 224 of the IPC for violation of the terms of his parole, have much work on their hands.
For, according to police sources in Kannur, Bitti told the Magistrate when he was produced on March 9 that the police had no right to detain him as he had produced documents to prove that he was Raghav Rajan. “How can I be Bitti Mohanty when all my documents show I am Raghav Rajan?” he asked the Magistrate, according to police sources. The Magistrate reportedly replied that he could put forward that line of argument when the case came up before the court.
Bitti had initially stated during questioning earlier in the day that he was the absconding convict. That confession had followed hours of questioning, during which he denied that he was Bitti.
The Kerala police have now asked the Rajasthan police for evidence to identify the person.
“There is a lot of homework to be done. They have asked us how we will prove that this is indeed the man we want,” Lal Kothi sub-inspector Amar Singh told The Hindu. “So we are searching all over for any supporting evidence. They have asked us for a lot of forensic evidence to match the blood group and DNA of the accused.”
The fact that Bitti’s photograph available with the Jaipur police is an old and fading one, is adding to the police’s problems.
Kerala police sources said in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday that the Rajasthan prison authorities had not been able to source Bitti’s forensic fingerprint records.
Senior investigators in Kerala said they may now have to rely on the DNA fingerprinting process. They want to speak to officers who prosecuted Bitti in 2006 and get their sworn statements to be presented in court as part of the process of establishing the identity.
The Kerala police, which verified the arrested man’s call data records, said he had a steady woman friend with whom he was in touch. They were verifying her complicity, if any.
The call data records pertaining to the three mobile connections he used are being analysed further.