The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked three policemen from Ghatkopar police station and a resident naik tehsildar in connection with the custodial death of 22-year-old Altaf Shaikh.
A first information report (FIR) has been registered against police sub inspector Sanjay Khedekar, Head Constable Raghunath Kolekar, Police Naik Sayaji Thombre and resident naik tehsildar for Kurla-Mulund V.V. Rane.
The four have been charged under sections 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession).
The custodial death case, earlier being investigated by the Detection Crime Branch (DCB), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), was taken over by the CBI following directions from the Bombay High Court and then the Supreme Court.
P. Kandaswamy, head of CBI’s Mumbai zone confirmed that the FIR has been registered. He said that the CBI had called for the records from the DCB, CID and got some of them.
Altaf was picked up by the Ghatkopar police on the morning of September 11 from his Vikhroli residence on charges of house-breaking and theft. The same day the police took his family to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar where Altaf was lying dead with injury marks on his head, neck and body.
The state government initiated a DCB, CID inquiry to investigate the custodial death. Altaf’s mother Mehrunisa Shaikh filed a petition with the High Court, which in October directed CBI to investigate. As there was a delay in registration of the FIR, the family moved Supreme Court, which again directed the CBI to register a case.
CBI sources said the agency is yet to begin investigation in the case as the staff is caught up with the probe into Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar’s murder. “We will soon begin the investigation into the custodial death case,” a CBI official requesting anonymity said.
He added that the CBI would record statements of Altaf’s family members. The three policemen and resident naik tehsildar Rane will then be questioned.
The official added that Rane had prepared the inquest report, which is made immediately after death and before post-mortem. The inquest report showed that Altaf’s body had no injury.
The official ruled out the possibility that the four policemen could be arrested immediately.
“After investigation, we will submit a report before the concerned lower court magistrate and as per the court’s direction further action will be taken,” he said.