THE APPLICATION for police protection sought by Valerian Santos, father of Amboli youth Keenan Santos, who along with his friend Reuben Fernandez was killed outside a bar in 2011, is being scrutinised by the Mumbai police. While the local police confirmed that they have received an application seeking protection from Santos, they will be passing it on to the protection branch which decides on these matters. In a letter to the police commissioner and Amboli and DN Nagar police, Santos claimed that the convict, Jitendra Rana, might try to influence the case.
The Bombay High Court recently allowed the furlough application for convict Rana, stating that no adverse report was submitted by the police. The furlough leave of a fortnight, which can be extended by another two weeks, is allowed to a prisoner who has spent two years in jail. While Rana has been behind bars for eight years, his furlough application was rejected in 2017 and 2018.
“We got to know from his inmate that he wanted to kill me. I am not worried about myself, but the women eyewitnesses might get harmed. He can hurt the people related to the case,” Santos said. He added, “Of course, law is law. If he is supposed to get the furlough, it is okay. But police should either give us guards or ensure in any way that there is no interaction between the eyewitnesses or their families with him.”
Rana was convicted along with three others in the murder of Keenan and Reuben Fernandez in 2016. Keenan and Reuben had objected to the accused sexually harassing their women friends outside a bar and kitchen in Amboli. The court had sentenced the accused to prison for the remainder of their lives.
“We don’t know when he is going to get furlough and we haven’t heard anything from DN Nagar police station. We hope police will act on my application, sooner rather than later,” Santos said.
An officer from Amboli police station said, “We have received an application by Santos. We will be putting it up before our superiors in the protection branch, who will decide on the application.”