A day after 21-year-old Ashutosh Tiwari died in Nallasopara police custody, the Thane Rural police has transferred the case to the Crime Branch for investigation, following allegations of custodial murder.
Superintendent of Police, Thane Rural, Madhukar Pandey, confirmed on Sunday that the case — involving suspected murder of Ashish Pandey, whose body was found lying on railway tracks near Vasai three days ago — was being investigated by the crime branch. He added that allegations about Tiwari being murdered in police custody would also be looked into.
Tiwari’s relatives allege that he died in police lock-up while local police claimed it was a case of suicide.
“Yeh hatya ka mamla hai, atmahatya ka nahi (This is a murder case, not one of suicide.),” said Gulabchand Dubey, Tiwari’s relative who is also an office bearer of the Bharatiya Janata Party from Bandra, .
Dubey told Hindustan Times that, Tiwari was taken to the police station by Pandey’s uncle Sanjay Pandey and four of his associates suspecting him for Pandey’s suspicious death. “They picked up Ashutosh from Bhayander and took him to the police station,” the relative said.
The police maintain that Tiwari committed suicide. According to them, Tiwari started slashing himself with a blade immediately after he was taken into custody. He was rushed to Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli and was declared dead on admission on Saturday evening.
Tiwari’s lawyer, Ravi Dwivedi, questioned the police theory. “How did the blade reach the police lock-up?” asked Dwivedi. The lawyer also mentioned that Tiwari’s wedding was scheduled in April 2010 and therefore there was no reason for him to take such a drastic step.
Tiwari’s body has been sent to JJ Hospital on Sunday for post mortem.