Did Mumbai police trample key evidence?

Did Mumbai police trample key evidence?

Observers maintain that 45 minutes after the explosion took place at Zaveri Bazaar, the police cleared the blast site presuming it to be a cylinder blast, similar to the way they swept the crime scene in the Pune blasts.  Besides, fire brigade and police officials reached the spot 45 minutes after the incident. By that time the locals had already rushed in to help the injured and the dying. After reaching the spot, authorities cordoned off the area.

“Due to rain we were unable to collect the materials used in the blast and above that the fire brigade played spoilsport by cleaning the blast site,” said a senior crime branch official seeking anonymity.

He pointed out that the site was supposed to be cleaned only after the forensic team completes their work. But fire brigade officials cleaned the place even before the forensic team could reach the spot.

“If that’s not enough, cops also towed away the cars which were at Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar blast sites, which some officials say can hamper investigations in the future.
A forensic expert said in Wednesday’s blasts, the police committed the same blunder as Pune officials had made while investigating the German Bakery blasts in 2010.

An insider from the Mumbai police points out that the correct procedure of collecting evidence at blast sites must begin with securing the blast site first and then cover it with plastic sheets to protect evidence being damaged because of the rains. “Thereafter, they should wait for the forensic team to arrive and collect samples. Strictly speaking, all things should be left as they are, including vehicles, till all samples are taken,” he said.

Chidambaram on Thursday  morning said “even before I was able to visit here last night, the Maharashtra forensic laboratory has collected the evidence. And they have (done) a good job in collecting the relevant forensic evidence.”

After the blasts, the sites were cordoned off and barricaded, Chidambaram said.

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