The widow of Yakub Shaikh, the car washer at a workshop in Cotton Green who died in September 2015 after his colleague allegedly inserted an air pressure pipe into his rectum, has filed a petition in the Bombay high court saying the police probe in the case was “partial and tainted.”
Shahanaz Begum, the petitioner, said her husband had often been harassed by his colleagues and his murder could not have been the result of ‘drollery’, as mentioned in the police chargesheet.
She has urged the court to either transfer the probe to an independent agency or to direct the police to conduct further investigation to find the intent of the murder.
In her plea, Shahanaz said Shaikh had told her that his colleagues would often make fun of him because of his name, particularly since the execution of Yakub Memon, the 1993 blast convict.
“He said they would taunt him and say that since one Yakub had been hanged, it was the other Yakub’s turn,” she said.
She has also said Shaikh could have been attacked deliberately by more than one person, and that the attack could have been triggered by an argument between him and his colleagues about eating mutton during Bakrid.
Shahanaz has alleged the chargesheet filed by the police was “eyewash” and the angle of harassment and hate crime must be investigated. The plea also said since a criminal intent is necessary for applying the charge of murder, use of the word ‘drollery’ will make the charge of section 302 Indian Penal Code “fall flat and will prejudice the trial.”
The widow has asked that while all the other CCTV cameras in the showroom were in working order, the only two cameras that could have recorded the incident were said to be out of service.
She has said 48-year-old Shaikh was “well-built and it is unlikely that he did not resist when his colleague Santosh Arekar shoved the air pipe into his rectum.”
She also said that while there were signs that others had helped Arekar pin Shaikh, the police had not booked anyone else in the case.
The plea is likely to be taken up for hearing in the coming week.
The incident in September 2015
According to the Kalachowkey police, deceased Mohamed Yaqub Shaikh, 48, and the accused Santosh Arekar, 42, worked at the service centre of an automotive manufacturer located at Veer Srikant Hadkar Road.
Around 2.30pm, Arekar took a blow pipe and inserted it into Shaikh’s rectum following which Shaikh vomited blood and collapsed, the police said.
Police said the pipe was inserted for around 15 seconds following which Shaikh collapsed. He was taken to KEM hospital where doctors declared him dead before admission.
The police registered a case against Arekar and arrested him under section 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code.