Mumbai: Wadala TT police station where 26-year-old youth was allegedly beaten up had no CCTV cameras

Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 07:50 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Wadala Station, where 26-year-old was allegedly beaten to death by cops, has also broken SC rules

Wadala TT police station
Wadala TT police station

With the Wadala Truck Terminal (TT) police under the scanner for the alleged custodial death of a 26-year-old youth, it has been discovered that there are no CCTV cameras inside the police station, despite a Supreme Court mandate. According to an SC judgment, every police station must have CCTV cameras to ensure transparency. What's more, no one here knows why the cameras were never installed.

The Wadala TT police station has been in this week over allegation of beating up 26-year-old Vijay Singh in custody, resulting in his death on Monday. Singh was detained by cops over a scuffle he and his cousin engaged in with a couple. Singh was allegedly making sexual advances towards the woman after which the argument ensued. He was brought to the police station where the cops allegedly beat him to death. The investigation of the incident has been assigned to Unit 4 of the crime branch.

Family members and friends of the youth who died in custody protest outside Wadala TT police station. Pic/Ashish Raje
Family members and friends of the youth who died in custody protest outside Wadala TT police station. Pic/Ashish Raje

Officials probing the matter have pointed out that the police station in question does not have a single CCTV camera. "This is very shocking. There is no camera at the entrance of the station house [a room where people register their complaints] either. The entire issue could have been probed very effectively had there been cameras," a source in the police told mid-day. When asked about this, DCP (Zone 4) Dr Saurabh Tripathi said, "This issue is being investigated by the Crime Branch. All other questions will be answered by the police spokesperson."

'Will begin taking statements'

According to the crime branch, the documents prepared by Wadala TT police station regarding the case have been gathered. "We will take statements of the complainant couple, the friend of the deceased and the cousin involved in the incident and most importantly, the police officials who were present at the station when the alleged beating incident took place. We will start working on statements from Thursday," DCP (detection) Shahaji Umap told mid-day. Relatives of the deceased had undertaken a protest outside the police station after his death and refused to claim his body alleging custodial harassment by the police.

SC judgment

An SC judgment of 2015 mandates all police stations to have CCTV cameras. In a writ petition (Criminal) No. 539/1986, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in its judgment dated July 24, 2015 had given the following directions to all state governments to put police stations and interrogation rooms under surveillance of CCTV cameras to prevent custodial torture and deaths:
i) The state governments shall take steps to install CCTV cameras in all the prisons in their respective states, within a period of one year from today but not later than two years.
ii) The state governments shall also consider installation of CCTV cameras in police stations in a phased manner depending upon the incidents of human rights violation reported in such stations.

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