The Mumbai Police has ordered a probe into allegations by two Muslim youths that they were told to go to Pakistan by a police constable inside the Bandra police station early on Saturday morning before being brutally assaulted in custody. The police has so far insisted that the young men were taken to the police station after creating a ruckus and assaulting a policeman.
Mahim residents Asif Shaikh and Danish Shaikh — both 19 — were allegedly assaulted between 2 am and 6.30 am on Saturday, leaving the former hospitalised and the latter hurt.
Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) said, “DCP Zone IX has started his inquiry. He should be given some time to speak to both sides. We are recording statements of the so-called victims and also of the police officers. If there are allegations, they should come forward with some proof.”
While Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was yet to react, Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil said the CM will speak after a proper briefing on the issue on Monday.
“I absolutely refute the allegation that they were told to go to Pakistan. It is also incorrect to blow up a single stray incident. Two other Muslims are witnesses in the case. There is no question of the police having asked the boys to go to Pakistan,” said a senior BJP leader.
Asif, meanwhile, is undergoing treatment at Bandra’s Bhabha Hospital. “He is stable. He has bruises on his back. He also sustained a fracture,” said the hospital’s superintendent, Dr P Jadhav. Asif suffered a fracture in the little finger of his left hand.
Recalling the alleged assault at the Police station, Asif told The Indian Express, “They had handcuffed me. I was stripped and beaten by eight police officers. At one point they threatened to use oil as a tool to torture…I cried and begged them to stop. I even questioned about the reasons to beat me up. That agitated them further.”
“The room doesn’t have a CCTV camera. Asif was hit with bamboo sticks and belts on his back, shoulders and legs.
He was told to remove his clothes and beaten. He was also handcuffed to a table,” said advocate Rahul Dangle, who has known both boys for more than a decade.
While Asif works at a fitness centre and aspires to become a model, Danish is a school student.
However, Satya Narayan Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, said that the boys were booked for a scuffle and charged with assaulting a policemen.
“There was a fight between two groups at Galaxy Apartments. We arrested them and charged them under Section 353 of the IPC. All the other allegations are the subject of an inquiry,” he said.
Dangle disputed the theory, claiming that an inspector had instead tried to get the boys to sign undertaking that they had been injured by a mob outside the Galaxy Apartments.
Asif’s uncle Mohammad Hassan said, “We tried to get him admitted at Bhabha hospital in Bandra on Saturday morning. The doctors kept him on a stretcher but refused to admit him. There was immense police pressure. Until now, no FIR has been lodged. No officer has come to record his complaint.”
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