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Police tortured me: Bizman

mumbai Updated: Sep 29, 2009 01:24 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

“I want justice,” demanded Kharghar businessman Prasenjit Bishwas. The 28-year-old, who owns a cellphone shop in Fort, claims he was illegally detained and tortured by the Oshiwara police in July, who later released him in exchange for Rs 2 lakh.

The police did not spare his elder brother, Prasenjit alleged.

It was based on his complaint that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials trapped head constable Yashwant Patil and Ajay Thakur, a middleman, when they were returning part of the money they had allegedly extorted from the businessman.

But alleged prime accused Assistant Police Inspector Rajesh Padvi and two others, including a constable, are absconding.

On July 14, the Oshiwara police raided Chandan Patra's Kharghar firm where blank CDs are manufactured and arrested four employees.

Patra, who escaped, called his friend Prasenjit for help.

“One Rafiq, who knew some policemen at Oshiwara, brokered a deal with me for Rs 2 lakh in exchange for their release,” Prasenjit claimed.

“The next morning, I spoke to Padvi and gave Rafiq the money. But he did not release them.”

On July 20, Prasenjit went to the Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court to seek their bail.

“Three policemen accosted me. One of them kept a gun on my back, pushed me into a van and took me and two of my friends to the police station.”

There, Prasenjit claimed, he was tortured for over 12 hours. Patil also took the Rs 70,000 that was in his pocket, the businessman claimed.

“Around 1 am, when they made me sit in a Qualis, one of the constables whispered that I’d better pay up the remaining Rs 1.3 lakh or I would be killed in an encounter.”

He withdrew Rs 21,000 from an ICICI Bank ATM at Lokhandwala and gave it to them, Prasenjit claimed.

He alleged the police demanded that he pay the rest of the money for his friends’ release.

“I gave the money to them at a Jogeshwari hotel.”

But his ordeal did not end.

Padvi and his men allegedly kidnapped Prasenjit’s elder brother, Samel, and released him in exchange for Rs 1 lakh.

The businessman claims he suffered a nervous breakdown after the incident and in mid-August, after consulting with his advocate Vinay Rathi, approached the Mumbai commissioner of police and ACB.

When Padvi got wind of the order for an inquiry, he allegedly started threatening Prasenjit to withdraw the complaint.