Custodial death at Wadala TT station: Police to take video evidence from couple

Updated: Nov 02, 2019, 07:44 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

After duo at the centre of custodial death case speak out, police to record their version, use their videos as evidence against rogue cops

Afreen Ali and Dashrat Devendra
Afreen Ali and Dashrat Devendra

Taking cognisance of the videos shared by Afreen Ali and Dashrat Devendra with mid-day, Mumbai police's Crime Branch officials have said that they might eventually turn out to be clinching evidence in the alleged custodial death of Vijay Singh, 26, at Wadala TT police station. Apart from scrutinising the videos, where Dashrat is seen signing on a blank NC form, the Crime Branch also plans to record the couple's statements. They have already started interrogating the suspended cops.

AN officer privy to the investigation told mid-day that they would take the videos, which have been shot by a relative of the couple at Wadala TT police station. "Also, we will record the couple's statement soon. And, if the videos have been shot on mobile phones, then they can become the prime evidence in the matter. It will help unravel the mystery behind Vijay Singh's tragic end," a CB officer said.

Family members and friends protest outside Wadala TT police station. Pic/Ashish Raje
Family members and friends protest outside Wadala TT police station. Pic/Ashish Raje

The Wadala TT police have registered two non-congnisable (NC) offences in the matter — one before Singh's death and the other one after he passed away. The couple has been saying over and over again that the cops initially helped them as they were the victims, but when a mob comprising Singh's family and friends started protesting outside the police station after his death, the cops called Singh's friend Ankit Mishra and asked him to register a case against them. "These are just cheap tactics to save their own skin in the matter, which has triggered protests against the cops," the couple said.

Dashrat's brother had shot the two videos, which are 34 seconds and 36 seconds long respectively. In the first video the Wadala TT cops are seen forcing Dashrat to undersign a blank sheet of NC paper and the second one was shot after an officer snatched the NC copy from his hands. When Dashrat and his brother asked the cops why they were taking the copy back, the officers audaciously responded, "Aapko takleef hai kya? (Do you have any problem?)."

Vijay Singh's mother Kanchan Singh and cousin Jyoti Singh
Vijay Singh's mother Kanchan Singh and cousin Jyoti Singh

Requesting anonymity, a CB officer said, "We will take the videos from the couple and record their statement. We will probe the videos and see whether they have anything related to the inquiry. They might become the prime evidence in the matter."

Meanwhile, the five cops who were on duty have been suspended pending inquiry against them. Unit 4 of the CB has recorded their statements and started interrogating other cops as well to find out how Singh died in the lock-up. However, CB sources told mid-day that all the officers had ruled out giving third degree torture to Singh. "Some of them told us that they did not even slap him (Singh)," said a CB officer.

A senior officer said, "Inquiry in the matter is on. The detailed post-mortem report is still awaited. We have the primary report but the cause of death has been reserved for the autopsy report. Based on it we will decide the further course of action."

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