Custodial Death: CBI to indict three Maharashtra railway policemen for sexual assault

The CBI, which probed the custodial death on HC’s order, would chargesheet the police officials.

Written by Rashmi Rajput | Mumbai | Updated: October 20, 2016 5:12:32 am

THE Central Bureau of Investigation is set to indict three policemen from the Maharashtra Government Railway Police (GRP), charging them with forcing four theft accused in their custody, including a minor, “to perform oral sex on each other”. The GRP men are also set to be charged with abusing the minor. One of the four accused in the theft case was Angello Valdaris who allegedly flung himself before a running train while trying to flee from the custody of the Wadala GRP in April 2014.

The CBI, which probed the custodial death, would chargesheet the policemen under relevant sections of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and that of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, sources said.

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According to these sources, the three policemen to be chargesheeted are head constable Suresh Mane and constables Vikas Suryavanshi and Satyajit Kamble. Attached to Wadala GRP at the time of the alleged crime, the three are under suspension at present. “The three will be chargesheeted under Sections 6 and 12 of the POSCO Act for sexually exploiting a minor and Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act,” an official privy to the details told The Indian Express.

Explaining the sequence of events, the sources said the accused policemen had claimed that the arrests were made between 22.05 pm on August 16 and 3.40 pm on August 17 but their probe revealed that the timings mentioned in the station diary were “manipulated”. “Our probe has revealed that the boys were brought between 12.30 am and 3.30 am on the intervening night of April 16 and 17, 2014. In police custody, the four were forced to perform oral sex on each other.

One of the accused policemen, Suryavanshi, also procured petrol and dipped his lathi (in it) before inserting it in the private part of the juvenile delinquent in conflict with law,” the officer claimed.

The probe has revealed that the minor was brought to the Wadala GRP station around 12.30 am on April 17 along with Irfan Hajam and Sufiyan Khan, his two co-accused in the theft case registered by the Wadala GRP. Valdaris was brought between 1.30 and 2 am. “Mane and Kamble stripped the minor boy and started beating him on his buttocks with a wooden rod. This has been revealed by Valdaris and Sufiyan’s brothers who visited the GRP Wadala outpost after learning about the arrests of their brothers in the case. They were then asked to leave the outpost,” another senior official told The Indian Express.

The minor boy then fell unconscious, he added. “A bucket of water was thrown on his face following which he regained consciousness. The other three youths, including Valdaris, were instructed by the accused policemen to remove their clothes and the minor was asked to perform oral sex on all three. The three boys, including Valdaris, were then asked to perform oral sex on the minor boy,” said the officer.

In the meantime, he said, Suryavanshi managed to fetch petrol and dipped his lathi in it. “The minor accused was then hung upside down and the stick was inserted in his private part and he was abused until he ‘confessed’ to the crime,” said the official.

On April 18, 2014, Valdaris died while in the custody of the Wadala GRP, after he jumped before a running train in a bid to escape. His father Leonard Valdaris and the co-accused had alleged that Valdaris was tortured to death in custody and even subjected to sexual assault. They had moved the Bombay High Court demanding that the case be probed by the CBI. In June 2014, the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to investigate the case, following which the agency filed an FIR against 10 policemen attached to the Wadala GRP.

The agency has filed a chargesheet against eight policemen under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for kidnapping, falsifying evidence and wrongful confinement earlier this year. The second leg of probe dealt with the allegation of sexual assault and the agency’s supplementary chargesheet against the three policemen dwells upon the same. “These explicit details of sexual abuse would be mentioned in the chargesheet as the case is under POSCO and the we have to prove before the court that the boys were sexually exploited in the police custody,” said an official.

The statement of the minor under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has also been recorded and it is part of the chargesheet.

In April 2014, based on the complaint filed by the minor, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) recorded his statement. “The chief probation officer summoned the boy to record his statement. He also examined the boy before recording his statement. The findings of the CWC is a part of the supplementary chargesheet,” said the official. Other than the statement of the minor before the magistrate, the agency has also attached the statements of the brothers of two other accused in the theft case.

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