The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Bombay high court that it had not found any prima facie evidence against the government railway police (GRP) to book them for the murder of 25-year-old Agnello Valdaris, whose family has alleged that he was killed by the GRP while in custody.
The CBI told a bench of Justices Ranjit More and AM Badar that its probe had revealed that Valdaris’ death might be an accident.
The CBI’s statement comes as a major boost for the GRP that has been defending its officers claiming that he died after being hit by a train while he was fleeing their custody.
To support its stand, the CBI submitted the statement of a rail motorman, who the agency claims, was operating the train that allegedly hit Valdaris.
It claimed that the motorman had said that a person was running between the tracks near Wadala station with policemen chasing him on the day of the incident and that by the time he could hit the brakes, it was too late.
The CBI had taken over the probe from the GRP two and a half years ago, after Valdaris’ family approached HC.
In December last year, the CBI had charged three policemen of the Wadala Government Railway Police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act but had not invoked murder charge in the case.
Last month, it had recommended that the three officials be charged under section 377 of the IPC for having sodomised Valdaris and his co-accused.
The CBI’s charge sheet though mentions witness statements that reveal that on the intervening night of April 16 and 17, 2014, four persons, including Valdaris and a minor boy were picked up by the Wadala GRP to investigate a case of chain snatching. They were brutally beaten up and sexually abused while in custody.
HC has now directed the counsel for Valdaris’ family to respond to the CBI’s statements.