The Mumbai Police will soon file chargesheet in the death of gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amarapurkar, who fell into an open manhole while walking on a flooded street on August 29.
The probe into the case has been concluded and the Police have found six Parel residents guilty of negligence for opening a manhole cover in which Amarapurkar allegedly fell and died. Police sources said they were likely to file the chargesheet by October-end, adding they were on a look-out for the sixth accused.
“The sixth accused is a local resident who fled after learning that the police were on a lookout for him. We are trying to track him and he should be arrested soon,” said an official privy to the probe. “Since the investigation into the case is completed we will file chargesheet against the six accused by the end of this month. They all will be chargesheeted under Section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code for causing death by negligence along with other sections of the IPC,” the source added.
To support their claims against the accused, the Dadar Police were going to attach the CCTV footage in which the accused are seen opening the lid of the adjacent manholes. This, as there is no CCTV covering the manhole in which Amarapurkar allegedly slipped and got swept away.
“In order to ensure that the floodwater don’t enter their homes, the accused had opened the lid of a few manholes. While there is no CCTV footage showing them opening the cover of the manhole in which Amarapurkar fell, we have collected footages from nearby CCTVs that show accused opening adjacent manhole covers. The evidence will serve as a circumstantial evidence to support our case,” said a senior official.
On the point of invoking the section for act of negligence, the source said: “There is nothing to prove that the accused had either the ‘intent’ or ‘knowledge’ that their act could cause death. Therefore, stringent sections for murder or culpable homicide not amounting to murder cannot be involved. It was a sheer case of negligence.”
The police arrested Siddesh Bhelsekar (25), Rakesh Kadam (38), his younger brother Nilesh (33), Dinaar Pawar (36), and Raj Shirishkar (28) for their alleged negligence that led to the death of the senior doctor. In the chargesheet, the police were likely to attach the statement of the police constable, who saw the accused allegedly opening the manhole cover. “While initially the society members of the building where the accused live agreed to come for the Test Identification Parade (TIP), none turned up. The sole witness is a police constable, who saw the accused opening the manhole cover, and he has even identified them during the TIP. His statement is a crucial evidence in the case,” said another official privy to the details.
The police claimed the six men had allegedly opened the manhole to allow water to drain out that day after heavy rain hit the city, flooding large parts of central Mumbai.
“In his statement, one of the accused had even alleged that his mother was suffering from arthritis and owing to the flooding and the continuous downpour, the flood water had entered their first floor home… Therefore, he along with the other accused opened the manhole cover to allow the water drain,” added the official.
Dr Amarapurkar, who practiced at Bombay Hospital, was on his way to home in Prabhadevi when his car got stuck on a flooded road near Elphinstone Road railway station. As he was very close to his home, he informed his family that he would walk the rest of the way but was sucked into the open manhole. His body was found in a drain in Worli two days after his disappearance.