Mumbai

No evidence to suggest Wadala railway police murdered Valdaris: CBI

Agnelo Valdaris was arrested by the Wadala railway police in April 2014 for allegedly snatching a gold chain.

Agnelo Valdaris was arrested by the Wadala railway police in April 2014 for allegedly snatching a gold chain.  

Agency reiterates death was caused by train running over 24-year-old victim

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stood its ground on Thursday and said “there is no evidence that suggests there was any murder” in the alleged custodial death of 24-year-old Agnelo Valdaris in Wadala police station.

Father’s version of events

A Division Bench of Justices B.P. Dharmadhikari and S.S. Jadhav was hearing a plea filed by Leonard Valdaris, the deceased’s father, stating that his son was arrested by the Wadala railway police in April 2014 for allegedly snatching a gold chain. The police had said Valdaris was run over by a train while trying to escape, but his father claimed he died due to torture in police custody.

CBI’s counsel Hiten Venegavkar told the court that the CBI had already investigated the matter as far as his illegal detention is concerned and has charged the policemen. Even on the point of physical and sexual torture, Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act have been applied, he said.

Mr. Venegavkar said there is an allegation that it is a case of Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the IPC right from the time the CBI took over the investigation, but there is no evidence to suggest it. He also said the agency has recorded the statement of four eyewitness and collected the relevant information from log books of the railway department and the railway police.

Mr. Venegavkar said the doctor’s evidence on the injuries on Valdaris’s body before and after death clearly suggest that only those within 12 hours were fatal, and were caused by the train accident.

Earlier, Mr. Venegavkar had said on perusing the material based on the CBI’s investigation, that there is no case made out for murder. He said he had no objection if the trial court wants to frame murder charges against the police.

‘Sufficient evidence’

Advocate Payoshi Roy appearing for Mr. Valdaris had earlier told the court that eight Government Railway Police personnel have been booked under Section 377 and Section 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) of the IPC. However, CCTV camera footage shows that Valdaris did not try to escape as the police claimed, and there is evidence to show that he died in custody.

The Bench has reserved the order only on the point of whether the policemen should be charged under Section 302 of the IPC.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:14:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/no-evidence-to-suggest-wadala-railway-police-murdered-valdaris-cbi/article30043028.ece

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