The family of Yakub Sheikh, a 48-year-old who died last month when a colleague inserted a high pressure air hose in his rectum, Wednesday alleged his death was a hate crime, and not a prank as the police had claimed.
Yakub, a father of two who used to work at a Toyota Shinrai showroom in Cotton Green, was killed on September 29 when his colleague Santosh Aherkar allegedly inserted a hose used to clean cars in his rectum. Police said the pressure in the pipe was 140 PSI (pound per square inch). Aherkar was arrested and charged with murder.
At a press conference Wednesday, Yakub’s brother Samad alleged, “We made our own inquiries over the last one month. We have learned that Aherkar and my brother had been having an argument over the practice of animal sacrifice… Aherkar told my brother, ‘Tu mutton khaake aaya hai na? Ab hum tera mutton nikaalte hain (You had mutton, we will take out your mutton now)’.”
Yakub’s son Shahnawaz, daughter Shafia and wife Shehnaz were also present at the press conference.
“My father was killed on my birthday. I remember him leaving home with a smile on his face. He promised he would get a gift for me,” said Shafia.
Advocates Susan Abraham from the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Feroze Mithiborwala from the Bharat Bachao Andolan and Anthony Samy of the Jagrut Kamgaar Manch were also present. The organisations had formed a fact-finding committee to investigate the death.
“If Aherkar approached Yakub with a running pressure hose, the noise would have alerted Yakub. We suspect he was pinned down by some people while Aherkar inserted the pipe. This is a conspiracy of silence between the police and the company,” Abraham alleged.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti said, “The investigation into the case is still going on. If anyone has new facts to share, they should feel free to approach the Investigating Officer. Their statements will be recorded and appropriate action will be taken.”
A Toyota official said that since matter was under investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment at this point.
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