Custodial death at Wadala TT station: Crime Branch still awaiting cause of death

Updated: Nov 16, 2019, 07:46 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Agency submits probe report to Human Rights Commission, but as two postmortem reports keep cause of death reserved, it cannot conclude whether there was torture.

Vijay Singh's family has alleged that he was beaten to death
Vijay Singh's family has alleged that he was beaten to death

The Mumbai Crime Branch, investigating the alleged custodial death of Vijay Singh at Wadala TT police station, has submitted its preliminary report to the Human Rights Commission, which held its first hearing in the matter on Thursday. But the Crime Branch has said that as the report says the final cause of death was kept reserved in postmortems, the agency cannot conclude investigation on whether Singh was tortured. The Crime Branch is waiting for a report from the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) to ascertain the exact cause of death.

In the three-page report given to the Human Rights Commission, the Crime Branch has just shared details of the case. The agency has not come to any conclusion about the alleged custodial torture as the cause of death was reserved.

The Crime Branch had received two postmortem reports, one each from the JJ Hospital and the KEM Hospital, but in both instead of the cause of death, it was said, ‘opinion reserved pending accessory examination report’. The Crime Branch has also written to the FSL to provide its report as soon as possible, as without the final cause of death the investigation cannot be completed.

"The forensic reports will confirm the final cause of death, and accordingly we will decide the further course of action. We have completed recording the statements of police personnel and third party witnesses, there are no witnesses to the custodial torture. Also, only the final cause of death report can confirm if there were any internal or external injuries to the deceased," a police officer said.

The case

Vijay Singh, 26, a resident of Sion, died on the intervening night of October 27 and 28 at the Wadala Truck Terminal police station. His friends and family members alleged that the cops illegally jailed him and beat him to death. Five cops of the police station were suspended after the allegation and the Crime Branch was asked to conduct an inquiry.

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