Mumbai: Killer gets furlough, Keenan Santos-Reuben Fernandes' kin live in fear

Updated: May 17, 2019, 08:41 IST | Faizan Khan

Valerian Santos says his family and Reuben Fernandes's are living in fear, with their son's murderer set to get furlough and the police ignoring repeated applications for protection

Mumbai: Killer gets furlough, Keenan Santos-Reuben Fernandes' kin live in fear
Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes

Soon after the Bombay High Court granted furlough to the main accused in the Keenan-Reuben murder case, Jitendra Rana, in April this year, Keenan's father, Valerian Santos, had sought police protection in view of the threats that his and Reuben's family had received from Rana. But, even though the police had assured protection and increased patrolling near their homes, Valerian alleged that nothing had been done in this regard. Instead, he said, the cops were asking him whether the accused was out on furlough yet.

Speaking to mid-day, Keenan's father Valerian Santos said, "Earlier, the police had assured to provide us protection, but now they are calling me to know whether Rana is out on furlough or not. I am not in town but my family is there. I am worried about their security. Also, the girl who is a witness in the case lives in the same area. In the past, the convict and his family members have troubled us. Knowing their background I am worried that they might try to harm us. I have already sent two applications for police protection to the Amboli and D N Nagar police stations. I have also sent a letter to the CP."

Prime accused Jitendra Rana. File pics
Prime accused Jitendra Rana. File pics

"Even though the accused are behind bars, we continue to live in fear. They have openly threatened us many times during the trial. Rana had once told me that he would finish me once let out of jail. I am also worried about the female witnesses in the case. Even Reuben's family is living in fear," he added.

However, senior police inspector Bharat Gaikwad said, "We are in touch with the jail authorities. The letters have been sent to them. We have asked them to intimate us a day before the accused is let out so that we can provide protection to the deceased's families. Patrolling has already been increased outside their residences."

Also Read: I haven't cried in 4 years, but today I couldn't stop: Keenan Santos' father 

Valerian Santos, Keenan's father
Valerian Santos, Keenan's father

The case

Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes were murdered by Rana and three others outside Amboli Bar and Kitchen restaurant on October 20, 2011, when they opposed to the accused and his friends molesting their female friends. In May 2016, the sessions court sentenced Rana and three others — Satish Dulhaj, Sunil Bodh and Deepak Tival — to life imprisonment. However, the Bombay High Court in April this year granted furlough to Rana for 14 days. Time and again, the families of Keenan and Reuben have said that Rana threatened them with revenge. Also, the witnesses who live in the same neighbourhood, have been threatened by him. Those families had also written to the police commissioner and sought protection.

Also Read: Keenan-Rueben murder case: Female friend, who was harassed, reacts to verdict 

2016
Year Rana and three others were sentenced to life

Key witness was killed

Avinash Bali, a police informer and the key witness in the 2011 double murder case, was murdered in Mumbai on August 20, 2018. According to the police, he was found dead with multiple injuries on his body in the MIDC area of suburban Andheri. Later, investigation into his death revealed that he was killed over a financial dispute.

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