High Court date arrives for cops who slept on missing youth's probe

Oct 19, 2018, 19:30 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

Court takes serious cognisance of police's failure to act in finding missing Dahisar youth, who has not been traced even after half a decade

High Court date arrives for cops who slept on missing youth's probe
Nasim Shaikh

Bringing the police's failure to trace Nasim Shaikh, a missing youth from Dahisar, for the last five years back from the dead, a division bench of the Bombay High Court has now summoned cops from two police stations on October 23.

A division bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre gave the directions after the petitioner's lawyer Swapnil Ambure argued about the Kelwa police in Palghar district's failure in probing the mystery behind the decomposed body found on the seashore of Mathane village. He also brought to their notice a series of reports done by mid-day, along with inconclusive DNA reports and stressed on the need for handing over the probe to any other agency or a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Ambure also pointed out that the autopsy of the said body was done on the shore before burying it there. HC has directed the prosecution to ensure that the investigating officers from Kelwa and MHB police station be present in the court with their case dairy to explain the status of their probe. mid-day had done a series of reports about the Kelwa burial on September 24, 2017, in the report, 'Is man buried in hurry at Kelwa beach missing Dahisar youth?'. The reportage showed a series of lapses in the police investigation.

Nasim Shaikh's father Rafique Shaikh, sister Anusuya Gaud and deputy sarpanch Rajendra Patil
Nasim Shaikh's father Rafique Shaikh, sister Anusuya Gaud and deputy sarpanch Rajendra Patil

SIT should probe
Senior lawyer Dinesh Tiwari, who is the petitioner's counsel in the case said, "We're pleased that the division bench has taken cognizance of our plea and summoned the investigating police officers before the court to explain their say. Accordingly the court would decide on handing over the matter to an SIT, as demanded by the petitioner."

"Time and again, the Kelwa police, instead of admitting to their shoddy probe, have been finding excuses to delay the matter before the court. Recently, Anusaya Gaud, Nasim's sister, received a notice from the Kelwa police under section 174 of CRPC, asking her to be present before the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), so they could demand a closure of their case. This is nothing but an attempt to deprive them of justice, which we won't agree to, as the investigating police team have botched up the entire investigation. The matter needs to reach its logical conclusion. We'll continue to fight for justice," said Tiwari.

Where is my brother?
Gaud told mid-day, "We recently received a notice from Kelwa police stating that we need to be present before the SDM, Palghar, as they were keen to close the probe. It has been almost five years now, and we have no clue about Nasim's whereabouts. The Kelwa police, who first informed us about the clothes described by us in our missing complaint, matching the decomposed body found by them on July 11, 2014 are now claiming that the DNA is not a match. They've asked us to go back to MHB police station in Borivli, where the missing complaint was made again. And the MHB police station said they closed their probe soon after Kelwa police claimed to have found an identical body."

"We want to know, if the Kelwa police now claim that the body is not of my brother's, then the question remains as to whose body it is and why the cops have not been able to get a clue about the deceased's identity. How can they close the case without identifying the deceased? If it was my brother, then why wasn't the police able to confirm the DNA match? How could the bodies be buried on seashore but when we go there to exhume the remains, they're missing from the spot?" she said.

"We have more questions and we want answers from the Kelwa or MHB police. We'll continue to fight our case; we have nothing personal against any policeman, but if they're saying that the decomposed body is not of my brother's, then whose body is it, and where is my brother?" added Gaud.

The incident
Nasim went missing on July 8, 2014. His family lodged a complaint with the MHB police station. A couple of days later, on July 11, the police in Kelwa found a body that was believed to be of Nasim's. However, DNA samples taken twice for establishing his identity remained inconclusive, as no DNA could be extracted from the samples sent. An eyewitness from the village claimed no postmortem was done and that the DNA was extracted from the body with clothes on it, after which it was buried.

Also Read: HC raps cops for shoddy probe in case of missing Dahisar youth

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