He was tortured, allege Usmani's family, friends | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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He was tortured, allege Usmani's family, friends

The family and friends of Faiz Ahmed Aziz Usmani, the 39-year-old man who died on Saturday, hours after he went to the Mumbai crime branch office for questioning, are shocked at his sudden demise and maintain he had no history of hypertension.

mumbai Updated: Jul 18, 2011 01:15 IST
Surabhi Vaya

The family and friends of Faiz Ahmed Aziz Usmani, the 39-year-old man who died on Saturday, hours after he went to the Mumbai crime branch office for questioning, are shocked at his sudden demise and maintain he had no history of hypertension.

“The police told us Usmani was rushed to the hospital after he vomited and later he died. How is it that our friend who has no physical ailment died after he didn’t take his medicine?” asked Naseer Khan, Usmani’s neighbour and friend who was in the hospital along with Usmani’s wife Rubaida.

The family alleges that he was tortured. “We know he was tortured, if not physically, then mentally. We are awaiting the post-mortem report,” said his 17-year-old son Azeem, who added that there were no external injuries on his father’s body.

The provisional post-mortem report, released later in the evening, states that prima facie, he has died of natural causes.

The Govandi resident died nine hours after he went to the crime branch office for questioning, regarding the July 13 blasts.

Usmani is the older brother of 2008 Ahmedabad blast accused Afzal Usmani.

Eyewitnesses said Usmani was picked up by six policemen in plainclothes who said they were attached to unit 6 of the crime branch. “They came around 3 pm and caught hold of my father. When my mother asked why he was being taken, they told her they suspected he had played a role in the recent blasts,” said Azeem.

An officer returned later and told them Usmani was ill. “We rushed to Sion hospital where he was lying unconscious,” said Khan. Ajmal, a neighbour who was at the hospital, said: “They kept him on a ventilator but we knew he was gone at 9.45 pm. They called Rubaida at 12.15 am soon after he was declared dead.”

To Usmani’s family and friends, the police’s version of events makes no sense. “The officer who returned told us my father was taken to hospital an hour after they picked him up. How could they have reached the police station, questioned him and rushed him to the hospital in an hour? Whatever they did, it must have been while they were still in the vehicle,” said Azeem.

Usmani is survived by his wife and six children – the youngest is 18 months old.