OVER A week after two juveniles were apprehended by the JJ Marg police for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a three-year-old girl, an inquiry has been initiated into their allegations of custodial torture by the police.
The two boys, aged 16 and 17, when produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, had said they were beaten up by police officers after being apprehended. Following their complaint, the minors were sent for a medical test at JJ Hospital. The report prima facie corroborates their claim that they were beaten in custody.
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This week, the Principal Judge of the Mumbai City and Civil court allowed for action to be taken in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Juvenile Justice Act. The Principal Magistrate of the Mumbai City Juvenile Justice Board, who had forwarded the findings of the medical report to the Principal Judge, has been directed to take appropriate action.
On December 25, the two boys were picked up by the JJ Marg police for the murder of Juneza Khan, their three-and-a-half-year-old neighbour in a Nagpada building. The girl had been missing from her home since December 5.
After her family approached the police, a search began the same day. According to the police, the 17-year old boy, who lived on the same floor as the victim, killed her by strangulating her with the cord of mobile phone charger, apparently in panic after her mother came looking for her.
The police allege that the boy then took the help of his 16-year-old friend, a resident of the same locality, and the duo disposed of the body by packing it in a plastic bag. According to the investigators, the boys used a rod to slide the bag across from a window in their building on to the terrace of a neighbouring building.
The girl’s body was found on the terrace over two weeks later. Investigators said they cracked the case after ransom calls were allegedly made by the juveniles to the girl’s father. The police claim that the breakthrough came when the location of the SIM card purchased by the boys to make the ransom calls was tallied with another number they used.
Asked about the inquiry into the custodial torture of the two boys, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Manojkumar Sharma said he was not aware of the inquiry or the medical report confirming injury marks on the two minors.Police Inspector Hemant Bavdhankar of the JJ Marg police station, the investigating officer in the case, also denied having information about the inquiry into the allegations of custodial torture.