The DN Nagar police investigating the murder of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes have got three different versions of the incident. Significantly, none of the documented versions have any mention of sexual harassment. Santos and Reuben were murdered on October 20, by Jeetendra Rana and his three accomplices in a street brawl that went out of hand outside a restaurant in Amboli, Andheri West.
As per the version provided by Rana and his three accomplices, when they went to the paan shop outside Amboli Kitchen and Bar, three women were standing at the shop. “We were in a hurry and asked the vendor to give us our paan first. This angered the three women who got into an argument with us. Their male friends soon joined in,” Rana said in his statement.
Rana told the police that he was a teetotaler, a claim backed by his accomplices and several others in the Valmiki Nagar area where he resides. “During the argument, one of the men slapped me. I decided to avenge the humiliation,” Rana added.
In the second version, the Yash Kumar Chaurasia, the paan shop owner told the police that neither Rana nor any of his friends came to his shop. The three women had asked for paan and were standing around, when Rana got into an argument with the men from the group. The spat turned ugly after one of them slapped Rana.
The third version given by the complainant Avinash Solanki to several media agencies says that Rana passed lewd comments at one of the girls in the group, which angered him and his friends and they hit Rana when he refused to back down. Rana went away only to return with his friends and stabbed Keenan and Reuben. However, Solanki’s complaint lodged with the police makes no mention of any incident of sexual harassment, or eve-teasing.
“Eve teasing has not been mentioned in any of the versions or statements provided by the 14 witnesses in the case. I wonder why the friends of the deceased have not approached [the police] to report eve-teasing, even though they are making such statements in the media,” said V Bhoite, senior police inspector with the DN Nagar police station.
Meanwhile, Rana and the three other accused were produced in the court on Friday and have been remanded to judicial custody till November 18.