Was 17-year-old mobile theft accused beaten to death by cops?
Father of 17-year-old who had been sent to Dongri remand home for stealing, and died at JJ, cries foul; police claim the boy had fever
Two weeks after a 17-year-old was detained by the Railway Protection Force, he died at JJ Hospital on Saturday, where he was admitted for fever. The family of the teenager, however, has alleged that he had been brutally assaulted, while in police custody, which led to his health deteriorating.
According to the police, the teen was arrested for stealing mobile phones at Kurla station, on April 3. "After identifying him, we detained him and also recovered two mobile phones from him. We handed over the boy to the Wadala GRP," said Suresh Atri, in-charge of Kurla RPF.
During inquiry, the Wadala GRP officials learned that he was a minor. "We produced him at a juvenile court, from where he was sent to the Dongri remand home," said Ajit Bartakke, senior inspector of Wadala GRP. In keeping with the procedure, the officials did a medical examination of the accused, which showed a hair-line fracture on his left leg. "He told us that he had sustained injuries a few days ago, while getting down from a local," said an employee from the remand home, on condition of anonymity. "There were no external injuries on his body, when he was examined," the officer added.
On April 12, the teen started feeling feverish and complained of breathlessness. He was immediately transferred to JJ Hospital. "His condition deteriorated, and he was shifted to the ICU, where he died during treatment on Saturday morning," said a doctor from JJ Hospital.
His family, however, rubbished the claims of the authorities. Speaking with mid-day, the youth's father alleged, "When he was produced in court, he told the magistrate that he was beaten up by the cops while in custody."
"My son didn't fall ill, he was beaten to death. We want an inquiry into this. The guilty should be punished," he added. At the time of going to press, the teen's post-mortem was in progress.
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