Keenan-Rueben murder case: A recap of an incident that shocked Mumbai

The Mumbai sessions court today sentenced all four accused in the Keenan-Rueben murder case to life imprisonment till death. A recap of the gruesome case


(From left) Reuben Fernandez and Keenan Santos along with their friend Avinash Solanki. File pic

The incident
Keenan Santos (24) and Reuben Fernandez (29) were stabbed after a scuffle near Amboli Bar and Kitchen, in suburban Andheri on October 20, 2011. The duo was attacked, leading to their death, when they tried to protect their female friends from a group of eve-teasers. Four accused were arrested in connection with the case -- Jitendra Rana, Sunil Both, Satish Durgaj and Deepak Piswal. In October 2012, the court framed charges against the four accused for murder, conspiracy and molestation

What police investigations revealed
There are nine witnesses in the case, including the friends of the deceased, a coconut water vendor, a paan shop owner and the waiters of the restaurant.

One of the accused, identified as Satish Durgaj, was booked under charges of attempted murder. According to police investigations, he picked up the knives from the coconut water vendor to stab Santos. According to statements made by both, Durgas and Piswal, the three, who work as sweepers in Lokhandwala, were attending a party in their locality, when a flustered Rana came running towards them.

He told them that he had been beaten up by four men. Not waiting to hear the rest of the story, they rushed to the spot with him. When Durgas got off the rickshaw, he saw a coconut vendor who was wrapping up for the day. Durgas picked up two knives from the vendor, and handed one to Rana.

Both and Piswal were carrying stumps and hockey sticks. Durgas and Rana approached Reuben and Keenan and stabbed them. The other two friends, Avinash Solanki and Benjamin Fernandez were saved, as they were beaten up with hockey sticks and stumps. (More details)


Avinash Solanki, who was also attacked the same night, and Priyanka. File Pic/Rane Ashish

First-hand account
Recalling the chilling incident, Keenan’s girlfriend, Priyanka Fernandes had then told mid-day, “Like most other city girls my age, I was enjoying the company of my friends, blissfully oblivious to the horrors that awaited us. I remember that it was about 10:30 pm, and the stretch outside Amboli Bar and Kitchen, where we had dined, was bustling with life. The nearby cafe, a regular haunt for local youth, was doing brisk business, and the doors to a political party's office, to our right, were wide open.

After dinner, we were taking a leisurely stroll, and had stopped for paan, when disaster struck. The goons who had harassed us a while ago returned with their cronies, who brandished weapons. (Read full story)

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