Maharashtra police officer nabbed for abetting suicide
Following a furore over the second suicide within two months, the police finally acted and Shaikh was transferred
Absconding Senior Police Inspector Younus Shaikh was nabbed early on Tuesday for harassment, torture and abetment to suicide by two brothers, a Maharashtra State CID official said here. Shaikh was nabbed around 1 a.m. by a State CID team from Dongri in Mumbai and produced before a Palghar court which remanded him to three-day police custody.
His suspected accomplice and prime accused, Munaf Baluch, a self-proclaimed social activist, is still on the run. The matter dates back to November 2016 when Shaikh - who was with Virar city's Manikpur Police Station - picked up Vikas Jha (23) and his brother Amit Jha (29), both from Virar, for allegedly promising to exchange a certain amount of demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.
The Jha brothers were charged with fleeing with the spiked notes and failing to honour their commitment, but the brothers cried foul and said they were being framed by Baluch and some police officers.
Later, the police in Virar said there were at least seven more cases against Vikas, including alleged molestation of a local woman, and he was detained and arrested and externment proceedings were initiated against him.
As the Jha brothers and their family fought to prove their innocence in what they contended were false cases, on November 11, 2017, Vikas poured kerosene on himself and committed suicide outside the office of the District Superintendent of Police, sending shockwaves through the police force.
He left behind a recorded video message blaming Shaikh and Baluch for his suicide, and mentioned how all top officials in the district police ignored his appeals for justice, the false cases against him and not a single charge was proved. Amit continued his fight, along with his younger sister Ekta, and vigorously pursued the matter, but again without success.
Dejected by the complete lack of help from police, Amit consumed a pesticide at his home on January 21 and died two days later in a Mumbai hospital. Before his death, Amit uploaded a selfie-video on social media in which he directly accused Baluch and Shaikh as responsible for his and his brother's suicides, and said he "would be happy living with his (deceased) brother".
Following a furore over the second suicide within two months, the police finally acted and Shaikh was transferred, a probe was ordered and was later handed over to the State CID, even as the police official and Baluch both went into hiding.
The Jha family alleged that they were pressurised to name only Baluch and not any police official for their brother's suicide, but they did not succumb to their tactics and threatened that they would not perform the last rites of the brothers till Shaikh was also booked.
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