Four policemen arrested for assaulting a 22-year-old to death in Mumbai’s Juhu areaUpdated: Sep 10, 2020, 00:23 IST
Four constables attached with Juhu police station have been arrested by a special investigation team (SIT) for allegedly assaulting a 22-year-old to death, on Wednesday. The constables were suspended from service in August after the Bandra division’s assistant commissioner of police (ACP) informed the Bombay high court (HC) that he had identified the four police personnel from Juhu police station who assaulted the victim Raju Velu Devendra.
The accused policemen were identified as naik Santosh Ganptrao Desai, naik Anand Sitaram Gaikwad, constable Digambar Sakharam Chavanm and constable Ankush Ambadas Palve.
According to the police sources, following the seriousness of the case, an SIT was formed under the supervision of Sakinaka ACP Milind Khetle. The SIT during the course of investigation found the involvement of the four policemen for assaulting the victim and arrested them. The accused will be produced before the court tomorrow.
Police sources said last month an internal inquiry had revealed that the four policemen had assaulted Devendra after he was found outdoors during the Covid-19 lockdown. Devendra was subsequently found dead.
Juhu police had, however, maintained that in the intervening night of March 29 and 30, Devendra was spotted by locals while allegedly trying to enter a house near Mutthi Swami Chawl in Vile Parle.
According to Juhu police, he attempted to flee by climbing the roof but slipped and fell on the ground. A mob chased him to an open space and beat him up, which led to him losing his consciousness. A patrolling police van later took him to Cooper Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival, Juhu police claimed.
The police had also registered a case under sections 302 (murder), 141 (unlawful assembly), 142 (intentionally joining unlawful assembly), 143 (member of unlawful assembly), 144 (joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon) and 147 (rioting) of the Indian Penal Code against eight people.
The matter, however, reached the high court later when advocate Firdause Irani brought to the notice of the high court Devendra’s death, which according to his family members, was caused due to police brutalities, in an attempt to highlight the police high-handedness in enforcing lockdown in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
It was only after the high court took serious note of police brutalities that the ACP of Bandra division admitted that Devendra’s death was not a case of mob lynching and that he was assaulted by four policemen.