Officer who probed 26/11 case quits

Senior Police Inspector Ramesh Mahale, chief investigating officer of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, reportedly sought voluntary retirement on Monday, giving the government three months' notice.

Senior police sources said the move was prompted by "certain differences with senior officers", specifically over an issue related to the murder of 'Matka King' Suresh Bhagat. Mahale was the investigating officer in the case.

Mumbai Police Crime Branch officers were not available for comment. Mahale, who heads the Crime Branch's high profile Unit 1, had switched off his mobile phones and was unavailable.

Mahale is a law graduate who had monitored the J Dey murder probe and the investigation into the August 11 Azad Maidan riots. He is also the investigating officer in the S K Lohariya murder case. Mahale is one of the four Indian officials who deposed before the judicial commission from Pakistan which visited Mumbai last year.

A second Pakistani commission is expected to visit Mumbai to cross-examine Mahale and the magistrate who had recorded Ajmal Kasab's confession, and the two doctors who had conducted the autopsies on the nine gunmen killed during the attacks.

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