More than three months after the custodial death of Rafiq Shaikh – accused in the fake currency case – in the Dharavi lock-up, the crime branch on Monday registered an FIR against an assistant police inspector of Dharavi police station.
Rafiq Shaikh’s lawyer has approached the high court, asking that the police book assistant police inspector Irfan Shaikh on charges of murder, as against voluntarily causing hurt that has been currently applied in the FIR.
Deputy commissioner of police (zone 5) Dhananjay Kulkarni confirmed that an FIR was registered against Irfan Shaikh at Dharavi police station.
“The case is under section 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession),” Kulkarni said.
The incident took place on December 2 last year, when Rafiq Shaikh and Usman Shaikh were arrested by the Dharavi police in a case involving counterfeit currency.
While Irfan Shaikh was ‘interrogating’ the accused, Rafiq Shaikh died under mysterious circumstances. Following this, Irfan Shaikh was transferred to the police control room and the probe was handed over to Prafful Bhosle, assistant commissioner of police, crime branch.
The custodial death case was transferred to the crime branch following a Bombay high court order.
When asked why the police had not registered a case of murder, an officer investigating the matter said, “The post mortem report of the victim stated that he died of natural causes, hence no murder case was registered. But, because his body did have injury marks, a case under section 330 was registered.”
When asked if Irfan Shaikh would be arrested, the officer said they had just registered the offence and would decide on it soon. Abhay Bhoir, the lawyer appointed by Rafiq Shaikh’s family, said even if they arrest Irfan Shaikh, he would get bail.
Bhoir said, “We have approached the high court asking them for murder charges to be applied. The hearing in this matter is on March 16.”
Rafiq Shaikh’s younger brother Mazhar said, “I saw the body of my brother and there was not a single place where he was not beaten black and blue. Usman also said that Irfan had beaten up my brother in front of him.”