Ten months after a 17-year-old Dharavi resident died in Sion Hospital under controversial circumstances, his family has still not claimed his body. They have alleged that he died due to police torture and are demanding action against the Dharavi police.
According to Rajendra Jaiswar, his son Sachin (17), was picked up by the Dharavi police in connection with a cell phone theft case on July 13 last year, and taken to the police station for inquiries. Though Sachin was released 23 hours later, his family has alleged that he was assaulted severely by the police during his detention.
“Sachin was bleeding from his mouth and had bruises on his hands and feet when he returned home. Even the owner of the cell phone, which had been stolen, did not express any suspicion against him, but he was ruthlessly beaten. We took him to Sion Hospital, where he was admitted for six days,” Mr. Jaiswar said.
Sachin’s parents, along with local political activists, had marched to the Dharavi police station and demanded action against the concerned officers. The police, however, sought two days time. However, Sachin died while under treatment on July 21, his father said.
While the Sion Hospital certified that death was caused due to leptospirosis and pneumonia, Mr. Jaiswar refuses to claim his son’s body, which has since been shifted to the JJ Hospital morgue in Byculla.
“Doctors at the hospital told me clearly that my son died due to extensive bleeding caused by his injuries,” he said and added that he has filed a writ petition before the High Court.
The Dharavi police, meanwhile, have denied allegations of custodial torture. “There are post mortem reports certifying that his death was not due to torture. The family did demand we register a case but as per procedure, we can not book our own officers, due to which the inquiry was handed over to Crime Branch Unit V. We have submitted all concerned documents to them,” police inspector Kailas Bondre, Dharavi police station said.