More than two months after a 17-year-old Scheduled Caste boy died after being detained by Dharavi police, the body of Sachin Jaiswar is still lying at the JJ Hospital. His family has refused to carry out the final rites till an FIR is registered against officers of the Dharavi police, who the family has accused of “killing their son” on the night of July 21.
The Dharavi police, on its part, have said that they had picked up Jaiswar as a suspect in a phone theft case and he later died due to pneumonia. The crime branch, which was carrying out an inquiry into the matter, is set to close the case after several medical reports stated Jaiswar’s death was caused by pneumonia. But the family has questioned how someone can contract pneumonia in one night and contested the police’s version of the story.
In cases of custodial death, as per Supreme Court guidelines, an independent inquiry has to be carried out by another team from another police station. An officer from the crime branch, carrying out the inquiry in the case, said, “We are just awaiting another medical report. So far, the medical reports, including the post-mortem report, stated that Jaiswar was suffering from pneumonia. We will be closing the inquiry on receipt of the final report as it does not seem that he died because of police torture as alleged by the family.”
The family, which wanted an FIR in the matter, had earlier approached the Bandra magistrate court seeking an FIR against the police officers under Section 156(3) of CrPC.
Advocate Moin Khan, representing the family, said, “The magistrate court did not allow an FIR but directed that the statement of the complainant be recorded under Section 200 of the CrPC. However, we wanted an FIR to be registered and approached the Bombay High Court.”
A division bench of Justice Bharati Dangre and Justice Ranjit More last Wednesday, however, dismissed the writ petition. “We will be seeking further legal remedy,” Khan said.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jaiswar (43), Sachin’s father, told The Indian Express, “There is no justice for the poor. We will not take his body till the time an FIR is registered against the police officers.”
Ravindra Jaiswar, a painter by profession, said, “The police and post-mortem report are saying he died duo to pneumonia. How is it that on the night the police took him he was fine, and the next day he suddenly contracts the disease. Our son told us that cops beat him up and tortured him. There are limits to how much a 17-year-old boy can endure.” The family has also alleged that the police locked up Jaiswar in the toilet with dirty water.
A team from Dharavi police had detained Jaiswar on July 13 in connection with the theft of the mobile phone of a pedestrian and was allowed to go home. Next day, Jaiswar ran a fever and went to the hospital. He was sent home after medication but after his condition worsened he was was admitted to the hospital, succumbing to his injuries on July 21. Following this, a mob related to the deceased attacked policemen and security personnel at the Sion Hospital in protest.