“The Crime Branch will give their conclusion and based on that we’ll take further action,” says Mumbai Police Spokesperson Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Panay Ashok to Ajanta News. Ajanta News spoke to the DCP for taking more insights about the Vijay Singh Custodial death case.
When he was asked about his reaction on the protests and the victim’s family blaming the police for the death, he said, “the investigation has been given to the Crime Branch and whatever their findings would be..it would be appropriate if anything is said after the investigation is over in this matter. The Crime Branch will give their conclusion and based on that we’ll take further action.”
Ajanta News also spoke to the Congress Party leader and former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Chandivali (Mumbai) Naseem Khan. He visited the victim’s family and according to him, the family has blamed the police for Vijay Singh’s death. “The victim’s family has said that Police has killed their child, he died because of the mistake of Police and they are blaming the police for it,” Khan said while speaking to Ajanta News.
Vijay Singh who was a resident of Sion area, worked as a medical representative in a pharmaceutical firm. He died after he was detained at the Wadala Truck Terminus police station for questioning in an assault case on October 27, Sunday. The victim’s family members and his friend alleged that he was beaten to death in police custody.
Five policemen, including two junior officers were suspended on October 29, Tuesday, in connection with the alleged custodial death of 26-year-old Vijay Singh in Mumbai, according to the reports. “An assistant police inspector, a sub-inspector and three constables of the Wadala TT police station have been suspended after an inquiry into the incident,” the police spokesperson said. According to reports, the suspended officers are Salim Khan, an assistant police inspector, and Sandeep Kadam, a sub-inspector.
While, Naseem Khan raised questions on the suspension and said that it wasn’t enough, a First Information Report (FIR) should be lodged against them, demanded Khan through Ajanta News. “Only suspension is not enough. Prima Facie FIR should be lodged against them because due to their negligence only his death has occurred. The way they behaved with him and along with that they assaulted him, the parents of the victim have claimed this,” said Naseem Khan to Ajanta News.
Reports suggest that the incident is being treated as a case of custodial death and the crime branch has started probing into it. The post-mortem was being done at the state-run J J Hospital in the presence of a metropolitan magistrate and guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) were being followed, the reports said.
According to the police, Singh was released after he complained of chest pain and collapsed at the gate of the police station. However, Singh’s friend Ankit Mishra, who was with him at the spot of the incident, alleged that the duty officer and constables beat up the victim and did not even give him water when he asked for it.
“When he was unable to speak because of the pain, the duty officer asked his family members, who were waiting outside the police station, to hire a cab and take him to hospital,” Mishra alleged while speaking to a News Channel.
On Tuesday, victim’s family members and locals protested outside the Wadala Truck Terminus police station and sought a meeting with the Mumbai Police Commissioner. The protesters, holding placards and banners, demanded an FIR against the duty officer and other police personnel who allegedly assaulted Singh.
Police later resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters, an official said, adding that some unidentified persons hurled stones at BEST buses, damaging windshields of at least one bus. The situation is under control now, he added. Later in the evening, an offence was registered against the couple, identified as Dashrath Devendra and Afreen, with whom Singh had a quarrel on Sunday. Dashrath Devendra and Afreen were booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to wrongful restraint, voluntarily causing hurt and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, among others, according to reports.
The couple also, reportedly, gave wrong information about the incident following which a Non-Cognizable (N.C) case was lodged against Singh, an official said. On Sunday evening, the couple, allegedly, got involved in an altercation with Singh after accusing him of teasing them, state the reports.
Ajanta News asked the Spokesperson DCP Pranay Ashok whether this was a conspiracy plotted by the police to transfer their blame on to the couple. He denied the charges and explained that the complainant in this case is the brother of the deceased and so there is no question of conspiracy by the police.
“There is no question of conspiracy when in that particular case the complainant is the brother of the deceased, how can we be the conspirators we are there just to register the FIR, if the complainant has come forward citing certain sections and certain offences then we do which is our basic duty. There is no question of conspiracy about that,” said DCP Pranay Ashok in conversation with Ajanta News.
On the other hand, Naseem Khan said that police is trying to divert the issue. “Police is trying to divert the issue by doing this,” said Khan to Ajanta News. Ajanta News spoke to Naseem Khan about the Law and order situation in the state and he said, “Maharashtra’s Law and Order has become very weak. There is a need to take very strict actions against this.” “Whatever would be possible, we will do to support the family,” he added in the end.
Ajanta News asked the Spokesperson Pranay Ashok about whether there are any guidelines laid down by the authority for installation of the Cameras in the police station and whether they are adhered to. To which he replied, “We will take a review about the Cameras have been installed and there are high court guidelines about installation of cameras at various locations inside the police station campus and those are being followed.”
“There are 93 police stations in Mumbai and all have installed cameras inside them,” he added.
We also asked whether the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, is aware about the lacuna in the implementation of the orders of Supreme court about installing cameras in Police station. “They are very well aware of all the points of the guidelines and all due appropriate actions according to the guidelines and whatever problems and lacuna that we find we try to correct them.” claimed DCP Ashok.
While discussing about the further course of action in this case he said, “the inquiry has been started. Crime Branch is looking into the complaint and whatever their findings are based on that the appropriate action would be taken.”
In the end of the conversation, he gave a message to the public and said, “the public need not loose their faith in the police we are here to serve the public and whatever variations there are they are being handled appropriately professionally.”
“Our work is our professional integrity and our service to the people and whatever lacuna and whatever problems that the general public faces .whatever problems have been highlighted whatever lacuna there have been identified we try to cover them up, we try to solve them and that is how we intend on developing and growing our trust, regaining our trust,” he assured while speaking to Ajanta News.