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BSF man’s death: Two officers among five booked for murder

Days after the body of a BSF personnel from Maharashtra was found near his quarters in Shillong, where he was posted, police in his home state lodged a murder case against two BSF officers and three constables on Wednesday.

The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the wife of BSF personnel Sunil Vitthalrao Dhope, 38. The family has alleged that the day before his body was found in a pool of blood, he had told them over the phone that his life was in danger from some officers and personnel working with him. Dhope had named the accused during the conversation, his brother has said.

Dhope, who is survived by his wife and three children, was posted with the C Company of the 141 Battalion of Frontier Headquarters of BSF at Shillong for the last five years. While the BSF has said that Dhope committed suicide and a Court of Inquiry is underway, the family has alleged that he was murdered. The family has given local police an audio clip of their conversation with him a day before he was found dead.

On Tuesday, Dhope’s younger brother Dnyaneshwar said, “On the night of September 14, we spoke to Sunil. He said that he feared that his life was in danger. He also named some officers and constables of the BSF. The next morning around noon, a BSF officer informed us that his body was found near his quarters. The officer said Sunil had been shot and his body would be sent to us after completing formalities.”

Washim SP Mokshada Patil said, “We have registered a ‘Zero’ FIR. This means that the crime has taken place in another jurisdiction but the FIR has been registered with us. We have forwarded this case for further probe to Laban police station in Shillong.”

The FIR names a BSF officer of DIG rank, one of Deputy Commandant rank, two head constables and a constable. Dhope’s wife has said in her statement, “My husband had told us the day before that his life was in danger and he feared that someone will harm him. The next morning, we received a call that his body was found in bushy area and that he had been hit with four bullets.”

BSF officials in Delhi said that prima facie, it was a case of suicide and that Dhope used his service weapon to kill himself. “A Court of Inquiry is underway. Only after it ends, we will be able to ascertain the sequence of events leading to the death,” said an official.