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Mumbai: Constable’s murder story doesn’t add up

Updated on: 04 May,2024 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma |

The policeman, known for his heavy drinking, allegedly lied to avoid trouble at work

Mumbai: Constable’s murder story doesn’t add up

Police constable Vishal Pawar

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Mumbai: Constable’s murder story doesn’t add up

The Government Railway Police (GRP) officials investigating Constable Vishal Pawar’s death suspect he made up a story to avoid trouble at work. Pawar, known for drinking too much, didn’t show up for work on Saturday. Cops informed mid-day that Pawar recently recovered from jaundice but died of a heart attack in the hospital on Wednesday. Investigators are checking if his heavy drinking worsened his liver condition, leading to his death.
A thorough investigation by GRP, Dadar, into the case of Pawar, who claimed that he was injected with drugs and later poisoned by the fatka gang near Matunga Road station on Saturday night, has taken a mysterious turn. The investigators have ruled out any robbery angle in the case. The 30-year-old Pawar was heavily intoxicated at different locations, including a restaurant cum bar near Dadar station and at his flat in Thane, on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. He later started to vomit around 11.30 pm on Sunday, according to an officer privy to the investigation.

Police constable Vishal Pawar
Police constable Vishal Pawar

After a series of vomiting episodes on Sunday night, Pawar was first admitted to Civil hospital on Monday afternoon when a team from Kopri police recorded his statement and registered a zero FIR under sections 328, 392, 394, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. They transferred the case to Dadar GRP because Pawar had claimed that he was attacked by a fatka gang near Matunga Road station.

An officer stated, “If we go by Pawar’s claims, his mobile was robbed after 9.15 pm on Saturday by the fatka gang. But the Call Data Records (CDRs) of his cellphone revealed that he received 15 phone calls from different numbers of his relatives on Saturday night after 9.15 pm. All the numbers Pawar spoke to on Saturday night after 9.15 pm are identified, and they confirmed speaking to Pawar on Saturday night.”

“The CDRs of Pawar, who claimed that he boarded a local train from Thane at 8.20 pm on Saturday to head to work at Byculla, reveal his location in the Thane area near his rented accommodation. Above all, he boarded the train from Thane station at 11.23 pm on Saturday and got down at Dadar station Iaround 12 midnight,” said a senior GRP officer, requesting anonymity. “Afterward, he headed to a bar, Vishwa Mahal, and then slept at Parel station,” the officer continued.

“The next morning, Pawar travelled to Matunga and then returned to Thane by 11 am,” the officer added. “On Sunday morning at Matunga, Pawar was seen browsing his phone,” stated another officer. Pawar, staying alone in Thane, had his nephew Nilesh visiting. “Nilesh stayed with him, and Pawar shared the fake gang story with him before they drank together,” the officer said. “Pawar began vomiting around 11.30 pm on Sunday,” the police officer remarked.

After Pawar’s demise, his brother took his body home. “We brought Nilesh back to Mumbai for questioning,” the officer concluded. At the time of going to the press, Nilesh Pawar was taken by a team from Byculla police, who will also record his statement.

After reviewing over 100 CCTV cameras, investigators found that Pawar fabricated a false story, inconsistent with footage from railway premises in Dadar, Matunga, Sion, Lower Parel, and Thane. He failed to report for duty at Byculla on Saturday. The fake story tarnished GRP officials’ image. Consequently, multiple teams from GRP and city police are working to uncover the truth.

CCTV footage of Pawar seen using his phone at Matunga station on Sunday
CCTV footage of Pawar seen using his phone at Matunga station on Sunday

“Despite scrutinising vast CCTV footage, our team of officers also conducted a march between Dadar and Matunga Road, and Dadar and Parel to see if the railway premises have any exit points to know if any fatka gang members escaped the crime scene. We also recorded the statements of a few farmers who farm near the railway tracks. But these farmers also ruled out any such incidents,” said the officer.

“We are waiting for the detailed post-mortem report to understand the actual cause of his death. But we are also talking to the doctors to understand if he was really poisoned or died due to an infection in his fatty liver because he would drink a lot,” added the officer.

mid-day spoke to Pawar’s brother Sachin, who said, “I don’t know at all what happened to my brother. I received a call from one of his friends and was informed that Vishal is unwell and admitted to a hospital. So, I went there along with my cousin.”

“After I reached there, I was told that my brother is no more. I fell down immediately after hearing this shocking news,” Sachin told mid-day. After getting married a couple of years ago, Pawar had taken a loan to reconstruct his tattered house in his village. His father Ramesh is a security guard at an automobile showroom in Jalgaon, and brother Sachin is a labourer. 

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