A family coming to terms with the death of a teenaged boy has claimed the police are demanding money to conduct the probe.
Over a month after the body of Melvin Fernandes (18), a student of Chetana College in Bandra (E), was found in a field in Virar, his family has alleged the police have sought money to meet expenses incurred on the investigation.
“An officer from Virar police station told us there was a dearth of police vehicles to commute to Nirmal Nagar in Bandra (E) where the victim lived,” said Melvin’s father, Baptist Fernandes.
Baptist, a taxi driver, claimed to have already paid Rs 2,000 so that the police could hire a private vehicle.
“I paid up just so my son’s killers can be tracked down and brought to book,” said Baptist.
The family alleged that such a demand had been made on two occasions.
“A constable demanded money saying the police had to shell out money to hire photographers to shoot pictures as part of the investigation,” said John Saldhana, a relative. “The constable said they had incurred expenses to organise a press conference.”
The police, on their part, have refuted the allegations.
“We have always used our own vehicles for investigation,” said Senior Police Inspector A. Sandbhor of Virar police station.
“Why don’t you focus on reporting updates on the case instead of reporting such matters?” an angry Sandbhor asked Hindustan Times over the phone, and refused to divulge any further details.
So far, the police have not made any arrests.
Melvin’s relatives have alleged that the Virar police had failed to begin a probe for over a week after the body was found, citing tension that prevailed in the Vasai-Virar belt over the proposed formation of a new civic body in the vicinity.
The investigation, they said, was further delayed due to the Ganesh festival.