Free Press Journal

Teen detained by cops dies, kin allege torture


Mumbai : A 17-year-old youth, who was allegedly illegally detained by Dharavi Police on suspicion of stealing a mobile phone was brutally tortured by the police and subsequently died of those wounds, his family has alleged. The boy, who was being treated in the Intensive Respiratory Care Unit (ICRU) at Lokmanya Tilak Hospital, died on Saturday night.

On July 13, police picked up Sachin Ravindra Jaiswar, 17, around 1 am, suspecting him in a mobile theft case registered at Dharavi police station on July 12 at 9 pm.

Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Sachin’s brother Sunil Jaiswar, said, “Police came to our house at 1 am on July 13. They took my brother away in a police van. When I went to the police station around 9 am, they told me Sachin had been called for questioning and would be sent back home in a few hours. However, even well past midnight, my brother had not returned. Police officers informed me they would send Sachin home on July 14, at 8 am. When I went there the following morning, they told me he would come home at night. However, it was 1 am on July 15 that I

was able to bring him home. My brother had sustained physical injuries to his head, hands, legs and back after having been thrashed with a baton and being assaulted bare-handed by five policemen.

“The complainant, who had registered the mobile theft offence, had also visited my house on July 13. Despite the complainant informing police at the identification parade that it was not my brother who had conducted the robbery, police illegally detained him. Another 17-year-old youth, K Ali, too was picked up by police from the Dharavi area. He had also sustained injuries but his condition was stable. Ali and my brother were both released at the same time. There are no offences registered against my brother at any police station.”

Sunil says Sachin was barely able to walk and was unconscious, so he took the latter to a private clinic right after leaving the police station. Since his condition worsened, he was rushed to Lokmanya Tilak Hospital, Sion, on July 15, where he was in the general ward for 12 hours and later on shifted to the hospital’s ICRU. He died late on Saturday night.

“On July 18, we submitted a letter to Rajeev Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 5) seeking an inquiry into the incident. We have also submitted a letter to the Chief Secretariat at Mantralaya with the help of the Bahujan Samaj Party. The DCP has promised us verbally that necessary action will be taken against the officers and he is likely to issue a suspension order on Monday,” added Sunil.

According to Suresh Patil, senior police inspector, Dharavi police station, “Sachin was called for questioning in a mobile theft case. But since we did not find his involvement in the case, he was released. He does not have any previous criminal records registered against him. However, he has developed leptospirosis and has a drinking problem, due to which he has developed kidney and liver infection. So, he has been admitted to the hospital after two-to-three days of questioning. We have not assaulted him or illegally detained him. However, an inquiry is being conducted in this matter by the DCP.”

Despite repeated calls and text messages, DCP Rajeev Jain remained unavailable for comment. A rally was earlier conducted at Dharavi by BSP workers on Saturday to protest against the incident.