Mumbai Crime Branch to investigate custodial death case

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Custodial Death

On Tuesday, the Mumbai Crime branch received a notice from the Bombay High Court to investigate as well as file an FIR against nine policemen who have been accused of the custodial death of a youth and sexual abuse of three others held in a case of robbery. 13 June has been set as the date for hearing the case.

Justices VM Kanade and PD Kode have asked the Director General of Police to personally look into the matter. The judges also directed the Maharashtra State Government and other respondents to submit the post mortem report of the victim, Agnelo Valdaris who died in police custody on 18 April, 2014. They also ordered the medical register and the medical reports of the deceased to be handed over to Leonard Xavier Valdaris, the victim’s father.

The court passed the judgment on the basis of a petition filed by Leonard and three other persons who were arrested along with Agnelo and claimed to face sexual harassment. However, according to Wadala Police, Agnelo faced death as he was run over by a train attempting to flee from police custody.

Yug Choudhary, the counsel for the petitioners denied accusations of robbery against the boys and held the police responsible for the custodial death of Agnelo.

Based on the allegations of stealing a gold chain, the Wadala Police picked up the four boys from their residence on 15 and 16 April and took them to the police station, where they were allegedly beaten up.

Observing that it was a serious crime, the judges asked the Crime Branch to probe into the matter and immediately issue an FIR against the accused policemen. The petitioner has also asked for a compensation of INR 1 crore for the deceased and INR 50 lakh for each of the three others who faced sexual abuse in custody.