Long after they are formed, teams still investigating cases

The high-profile Special Investigation Teams (SITs) entrusted with many sensational and critical cases in the State to bring out the facts couldn’t produce the desired results in many cases and the reports of the SITs were not even revealed in a few cases.

The governments have constituted SITs to ensure a fair and thorough probe in important cases and avoid criticism of being non-serious in pursuing matters.

Once a SIT is formed, its team members take over investigation of the case from the local police.

Enormous powers, separate office, vehicles and supporting staff – these were the facilities provided to SITs to crack sensational cases. But often, the results from SITs were not as per the expectations.

The Andhra Pradesh government constituted a SIT in April, 2015, to probe the Seshachalam encounter in which 20 labourers were shot dead. There was an uproar in Tamil Nadu as the victims (woodcutters) belonged to that State, and the fact-finding committees found fault with the A.P. police in the incident.

A SIT was formed to investigate the deaths in a liquor shop owned by a former Congress MLA in Vijayawada. Five people died and more than 30 were hospitalised, after consuming liquor at the outlet in December, 2015.

Yet another Special Investigation Team had been formed to probe the land scam, which triggered a political controversy in Visakhapatnam.

Following the directions of the High Court, a SIT was constituted in 2017, to re-investigate the decade-old Ayesha Meera murder case. A native of Tenali in Guntur district, the B. Pharmacy student was murdered in Sri Durga Ladies Hostel at Ibrahimpatnam on Vijayawada outskirts in 2007.

Two latest probes

On the other hand, worried over the rise in sexual assault cases against minor girls, the government constituted two SITs last year to investigate the cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.

In most cases, it is not clearly known whether the investigation has been completed and the report is submitted.

In the latest move, the government constituted two SITs to probe data theft and charges of deletion of voters under Form-7, in the State.

The ruling Telugu Desam and the Opposition YSR Congress parties traded charges on deletion of voters and stealing of data, which created confusion among the voters.

However, an SIT membersaid, “We have completed our investigation and submitted the report to the authorities concerned.”

When contacted, Director General of Police (DGP) R.P. Thakur said the election schedule announced for the State, on Sunday, is in no way connected to the inquiry into data theft and voters’ deletion.

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