"I had mistakenly put the jacket along with bio-medical and non-medical waste in polythene bags which was sent to the Deonar dump grounds for disposal."

The mystery behind the missing bullet-proof jacket of slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare took a new turn on Wednesday with a sweeper of a government hospital claiming that he had disposed it off long ago.

The statement of the sweeper Dinesh Lalji Gatar to a magistrate comes more than a year after Karkare and two other senior police officers were killed by Pakistani terrorists during the 26/11 strikes.

“On the night of November 27, after Karkare’s body was brought to JJ hospital for autopsy, I had mistakenly put the jacket along with bio-medical and non-medical waste in polythene bags which was sent to the Deonar dump grounds for disposal,” the sweeper said in the statement.

The statement evoked a sharp reaction from Kavita Karkare, wife of the slain officer, who said, “This theory had cropped up now because the government is under pressure.

“I have lost all hopes to get fair justice in this case. I do not believe in this. The government is under pressure and hence this statement at a late juncture,” she said.

The sweeper’s statement comes in the wake of a case filed by a social activist before a magistrate seeking probe into the missing jacket.