Five cops suspended over 25-year-old’s death in custody
Around 1,000 people – including Singh’s family, friends and neighbours – protested outside Wadala TT police station and blocked the highway on Tuesday morning.Updated: Oct 30, 2019, 03:14 IST
Five police personnel, attached to the Wadala Truck Terminal police station, were suspended on Tuesday, in connection with the custodial death of a 25-year-old. The suspended police officers include assistant police inspector Salim Khan, police sub inspector Sandeep Kadam, and three constables. Vijay Singh, who had been arrested after a scuffle with a couple near the police station, died in the early hours of Monday.
Around 1,000 people – including Singh’s family, friends and neighbours – protested outside Wadala TT police station and blocked the highway on Tuesday morning. Later in the day, the couple – Dasharat Devendra and his lover – were booked under charges of assault. The case is currently being investigated by Mumbai crime branch unit 4.The victim was a resident of Sion Koliwada and worked as a medical representative at a private firm. His father works as a taxi driver.
On Sunday, Singh, his friend Ankit Mishra and cousin Shivam Singh were picked up by the police around 100 metres away from the Wadala TT station. The victim’s uncle, Sanjay Singh, who works as a taxi driver, said, “After Diwali puja at home, he left the house around 10.45pm to meet his fiancé. He was on his bike and when he took a left turn, the bike’s headlight fell on a couple that was sitting at the side of the road. The couple got angry and kicked the bike.”
A scuffle broke out between Singh and the couple, following which Shivam and Mishra arrived at the spot. Soon, the police arrived as well. According to Shivam, the woman complained that Singh was harassing her. The police then started to beat Singh up . The three were taken to the police station, where Singh was kept in a lock-up and Shivam and Mishra were made to sit in the station house.
“The police assaulted my brother badly and kept him in the lock-up for an hour. [Singh] was complaining of chest pain and asking for water, but they did not bother. They even switched off the fan inside the lock-up and abused him,” said Shivam. His parents arrived at the police station too, but they were not allowed to meet Singh. “He was asking for water and continuously complaining of chest pain but police did not listen. His 12-year-old younger brother tried to give him a bottle of water, but a police constable snatched the bottle and kicked the boy. He collapsed an hour later. The police brought him out and told us to take him home or to a hospital. We requested a vehicle but they denied it,” said a family member who was at the station. “We then booked a taxi and took him to Sion Hospital, but he was declared dead before admission,” added Shivam.
Saurabh Tripathi, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) said, “We have spoken to Singh’s parents and as per the preliminary investigation one assistant police inspector, police sub inspector and three constables who were on duty at the time of incident have been suspended”.
Owing to his parents’ demand, Singh’s body has now been shifted from JJ Hospital to KEM Hospital, and another post mortem is being carried out.