The family of the man who died after being allegedly assaulted by four policemen has said the Mumbai Police’s decision to drop murder charges against the accused and book them on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was a travesty of justice.
“I will approach the higher court and get the case reopened if we don’t get justice,” said Saira Velu Devendra, mother of Raju Velu. The four constables were arrested on September 9 for allegedly assaulting the 22-year-old to death in March for roaming around and flouting lockdown norms.
However, a chargesheet filed by the SIT, which was set up on the orders of the Bombay High Court, has dropped the charges of murder and instead invoked culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Velu was allegedly thrashed to death by the policemen in Juhu and subsequently a case of murder, rioting and unlawful assembly was registered against the constables — Santosh Desai, Digambar Chauhan, Ankush Palve and Ananda Gaikwad.
A senior IPS officer said, “The investigating officer has concluded the constables did not have the intention to kill him, but there is sufficient evidence to show they knew what they were doing.”
The Indian Express had earlier reported as to how the accused had tried to pass it off as a case of mob lynching. They even tried to allegedly hide evidence as a day after, they seized the digital video recorder of the CCTV cameras that covered the incident.
Saira said she is scared the police will someday kill her other son Shankar, who is 25 years old. “Even Shankar has been previously arrested in petty crimes and I fear the police will get hold of him one day and kill him as well,” said Saira, adding, “Due to which I have decided to send him to our native place at Salem.”
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