An accused in a murder case died under suspicious circumstances at the Yerawada jail on Friday. The deceased has been identified as Inayat Sharif Shaikh (27), of New Nana Peth. His family has blamed the jail administration for his death.
Jail authorities, however, said he died due to illness and added there had been no fights or quarrels between him and others inside the prison.
Inayat was among those arrested on May 28 by the Bibvewadi police for allegedly kidnapping and murdering Dalaram Rathod, a catering contractor. After being remanded in judicial custody by the court, Inayat had been lodged in Yerawada jail since June 10.
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Yerawada Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai said Inayat had been suffering from a “urinary track infection.” “He was admitted to the indoor hospital in jail on June 16. He again complained of chest pain and vomiting on Thursday, June 26. The jail staff again admitted him to the indoor hospital. However, as his condition worsened, he was shifted to Sassoon hospital on Friday. He died of illness and there was no fight and brawl involving him in jail.”
The hospital authorities said Inayat was pronounced dead on arrival. “No treatment could be provided as he was brought dead,” said a source from Sassoon hospital.
Inayat’s father Sharif Shaikh said, “We want the police to conduct a proper investigation for confirming the cause of death. We feel that jail administration is responsible for Inayat’s death. My family had a meeting with him in jail for around 10 minutes on Wednesday. He was looking fine. He was not suffering from any illness before he was arrested. We suspect he was beaten up badly by police or others.”
“We got a call from police around noon today saying Inayat was in a serious condition at Sassoon hospital. We rushed to the hospital, only to find that he was dead. We were not informed about his illness before by any police or jail officials,” said Sharif.
However, another family member who had previously met Inayat in jail said, “Inayat did say that he was ill, but he looked normal and spoke to us properly. So we feel some foul play took place after his arrest. We demand a thorough probe,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Yerawada police have registered an accidental death case. Apparently, this being a case of death in police custody, the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is likely to take over the investigation. Inspector Sanjay Patil of Yerawada police station said, “There will be an in-camera post-mortem on Inayat’s body. Cause of death can be confirmed only after post-mortem report. He was brought to Sassoon hospital around 11 am on Friday.”
Police had claimed that Sabir Shaikh, a history-sheeter and alleged kingpin in Rathod’s murder, had taken help from Inayat and other accomplices in the crime. The suspects kidnapped Rathod on May 26 and demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore. They later settled for Rs 18 lakh. But on knowing that Rathod’s family had approached the police, the suspects allegedly killed Rathod on May 27 and dumped the body in Bopdev Ghat.