While three of the four eyewitnesses have spoken in favour of the police in the Chembur custodial death case, the fourth witness, Ibrahim Malik, has claimed that Mohammad Naushad Hussain Khan, 43, was brutally assaulted with a bat, stumps, chain and was even hung upside down.
Khan and Malik were picked up from Shivaji Nagar in Govandi on Saturday for questioning in connection with a theft case. Four witnesses, including three detainees and one policeman, were present while Khan was being questioned. During the questioning, the policemen beat up Khan that led to bleeding, alleged Malik. Khan was rushed to the Sion hospital around 1.30am on Sunday, where he was declared dead on arrival.
Two of the accused have told the police that Khan had banged his head on the wall and also repeatedly hit himself with the handcuff, said sources. Malik, however, maintained that Khan was assaulted with a bat. Officials from the crime branch said they had recorded the statements of the four witnesses.
The post-mortem report obtained earlier said that Khan had an injury above the forehead. Khan’s viscera has been preserved as the cause of death is not clear from the report, sources said. The police are awaiting a report from the JJ hospital, before further action.
According to sources, there were bloodstains on the walls and the rod of the room, where Khan was being questioned at the Chembur police station, said sources.
Police have registered a case of accidental death and the crime branch has begun its probe into the incident. Head constable Dilip Sawant and police constable Sanjay Dhale, who were questioning Khan, have been suspended for preliminary negligence of the Supreme Court guidelines.
The crime branch unit six – which is investigating the case -- is also checking if the station dairy had the record of Khan being detained for questioning. Officials claimed Khan’s relatives were informed when he was picked up for questioning. They said that he was detained as he had several offences registered against him.