'I hit him because he called me billi'
Says 16-year-old to counsellors, after being arrested for killing a fellow tuition student during a brawl Wednesday night. Now lodged in a remand home, the accused says he was being ridiculed and harassed by the victim, who teased him since he had brown eyes
“My intention was not to kill him. I feel bad,” the youngster told counsellors at the Umerkhadi Children’s Home in Dongri yesterday. The 16-year-old was arrested by Oshiwara police for allegedly murdering a fellow pupil at a coaching class on Wednesday night and has been kept in the remand home. His parents came to visit, but could not meet their son, as at the time cops had taken him to the department of forensic medicine at JJ hospital for age verification.
As MiD DAY had reported yesterday (Teen kills tuition colleague after brawl over bunking), the immediate provocation had appeared to be the fact that the victim had threatened to bring the accused’s frequent absence to the notice of the instructor.
An official at the remand home said, “The 16-year-old was brought here late on Thursday night by the Oshiwara police. He was given a white T-shirt and red trousers (special outfit of juvenile under-trials) instead of the regular blue shirt and trousers provided to destitutes and runaways.”
At present, 17 under-trial juveniles, arrested for serious to petty offences, are lodged at the remand home. Since the 16-year-old has been apprehended for a serious offence like murder, he is sharing a separate room with three other juveniles above 16 years of age, arrested for robbery and assault cases. Thirteen other minors accused of lesser crimes like theft and pickpocketing are lodged on the ground floor. The youngest is a 10-year-old boy, picked up for mobile theft.
In his statement, the teen said that he was a student of class X in an Urdu-medium school in Jogeshwari and wanted to join the Science stream after SSC. His parents don’t have regular employment and he is second among four siblings. He was going to a private tuition class every afternoon and the deceased was his classmate.
The accused says the victim would tease him by calling him ‘billi’ (cat) as he has brown eyes. Also, since he would sit in the last row in a class of about thirty students, he was always bullied by the deceased, who would often ask him to switch on and off the fans.
“The teenager also told officials that he had joined martial arts classes for a few months and that he only wanted to teach the victim a lesson, not kill him,” said AK Jadhav, superintendent of the remand home.
Jadhav added, the accused revealed that he decided to hit the boy when all the students had gathered together outside the classes.
The victim fainted after receiving a blow.
Other boys who witnessed this tried to revive him but without success.
The teacher was summoned and he rushed the boy to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“I ran home as I was scared. I did not inform anyone about the incident. Around 9.00 pm, cops arrived at my house and I was taken to the police station. “Mujhe malum nahin tha ke ye marjayega, lekin mujhe billi bulata tha, isliye mujhe gussa aya. Mujhe paschatap hota hai (I did not know that he would die. But since he would always tease me, I lost my temper. I feel guilty,” the 16-year-old told the superintendent.
The boy is now being taught tailoring and will also be provided basic computer training. However, he is not paid anything during his sessions, and his parents won’t be allowed to give him any pocket money.
They can only meet him once a week on Saturdays, between 11 am and 1 pm, Jadhav concluded.
Meanwhile, a panel of two forensic surgeons conducted an autopsy on the deceased at Cooper post-mortem centre.
However, the cause of death will be announced only after the results of a histopathology test at JJ hospital and viscera for chemical analysis at Kalina forensic science laboratory are out.