The State Crime Investigation Department (CID) has filed a chargesheet against six accused policemen — then attached to the Fatehgunj station in Vadodara — charging them with murder in the alleged custodial death case of 65-year-old Babu Nisar Shaikh, a migrant from Telangana, in 2019.
The CID filed the chargesheet on November 26, officers said, as the stipulated 90-day period since the arrest ended on Nove-mber 29. Shaikh was picked up for questioning in the case of theft and went missing since.
Superintendent of Police (CID, Crime and Administration) Saurabh Tolumbia said the chargesheet was filed at the Vadodara court, where the case will be tried.
Officials said that the six accused policemen — inspector DB Gohil, sub-inspector D M Rabari and Lok Rakshak Dal jawans Pankaj Mavjibhai, Yogendra Jilansinh, Rajiv Savjibhai and Hitesh Shambubhai — have been charged under IPC sections 302 (Punishment for culpable homicide amounting to murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 203 (Giving false information respecting an offence committed), 204 (Destruction of a document or electronic record to prevent its production as evidence) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
The accused, who had refused to cooperate in the investigation after surrendering on September 2, are lodged in the Vadodara Central Jail after spending 10 days in police remand.
The investigators have, so far, not been able to recover the body of the deceased to establish the alleged killing, despite conducting search in the Narmada main canal twice as well as in the catchment areas of the Mahisagar river in Vadodara.
An official of CID added that the chargesheet states that the CID’s search for Nisar’s body — dredging the Narmada main canal in Vadodara twice and also making inquiries in villages in the catchment areas of Mahisagar river — has yielded no result.
“There was also a missing persons complaint filed by his family in Vadodara at Sayajigunj police station, which was also closed after a vast search by the police in Vadodara. Police had visited Maharashtra as well as Telangana in search of Nisar, in vain. Even as part of the habeas corpus petition, the CID conducted a search but could not find him dead or alive. Moreover, there is a statement by the head constable of Fatehgunj, whose car was allegedly used to dispose of the body, in which he has said that the accused may have burnt the body,” said an official.
Statements of witnesses, including the constables on duty at the police station, who saw Nisar “tied to a chair” and being tortured, as well as another accused lodged inside the cell that day and the original complainants of the theft case, whose complaint was eventually not taken on official record by the accused policemen, have stated that they saw an old man resembling Nisar at the police station.
Nisar allegedly went missing on December 10, 2019, after he was apprehended by the Fatehgunj police on suspicion of a theft. The first FIR filed by the Vadodara police in July this year relied heavily on the statement of Assistant Head Constable Shaktisinh, who has said that he saw Nisar tied to a chair with a belt and rope in the computer room of the police station to “restrict his movement”, while the six accused tortured him to extract a confession of the theft.
Shaktisinh said that he saw the accused inserting a pen between Nisar’s fingers until he bled and “his voice faded away” and he “did not appear that he could be alive”, the FIR stated.