A 39-year-old man, Faiz Ahmed Aziz Usmani, who was summoned to the Mumbai crime branch office in Chembur for questioning in connection with last week’s triple blasts, died at midnight on Saturday. His brother is an alleged terrorist, an accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts, which killed at least 50 people.
The state Criminal Investiga-tion Department (CID) has been asked to investigate the death.
The three bomb blasts that rocked the island city on the evening of July 13 have so far claimed 19 lives and left 113 others injured.
Usmani reported at the crime branch office at 3 pm on Saturday, and within 30 minutes fell ill and was taken to Sion hospital, Nisar Tamboli, deputy commissioner of police, crime, told HT. “Usmani told us that he suffered from hypertension when he became unwell. He said he had not taken his medication for a few days.”
Usmani’s family alleges that he had been tortured and that he had no history of hypertension. “We know he was tortured, if not physically, then mentally,” said 17-year-old Azeem, Usmani’s son, adding that the family is waiting for the post-mortem report.
Dr TP Lahane, dean of JJ hospital, told HT that Usmani’s provisional post-mortem report shows he died of natural causes.
“The post-mortem shows that he died due to cerebral haemorrhaging coupled with heart attack. There were no injuries on his body. Prima facie, we have concluded that he died due to natural causes,” Lahane said. “We have preserved his [heart] tissue for chemical analysis.”
Usmani, who ran a provision store in Shivaji Nagar, Govandi, went to the crime branch office after some plainclothes policemen visited his Govandi residence on Saturday afternoon and asked him to do so.
“The patient was brought unconscious to the hospital. He was not breathing properly and had high blood pressure. The CT scan showed brain haemorrhage,” Dr Sandhya Kamath, dean of Sion hospital, said.
The CID team investigating the death visited the crime branch office on Sunday and went through the station diary entries and other records to ascertain if Usmani complained about feeling ill.
Tamboli said: “He would frequently visit his brother Afzal in Ahmedabad jail. We suspect Afzal or one of his aides may have told him about the bomb plot.”