Mumbai

Wadala custodial death witness goes ‘missing’, found in U.P.

Ankit Mishra (left) and Vijay Singh

Ankit Mishra (left) and Vijay Singh  

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Advocate says Ankit Mishra was under threat

While reports of Ankit Mishra, the sole witness in Antop Hill resident Vijay Singh’s death, going missing started doing the rounds, with Singh’s family filing a kidnapping complaint, the police on Tuesday said he had been traced to his home town in Uttar Pradesh.

Singh (26), a marketing professional, died on the premises of the Wadala TT police station on October 28, after being brought there by a patrolling team. His friend, Mr. Mishra, was with him at the time and went on to become the only eyewitness in the case.

According to the police, Singh’s elder brother Vibhay registered a complaint with them on November 30, stating that he had been missing since November 4. “I met Ankit near Panchvati Bakery in Makkawadi that evening. We planned to meet later in the day to discuss about the case but he did not show up. After that, I tried to contact him for several days but his phone was also not reachable,” Mr. Vibhay said in his statement to the police.

The Wadala TT police had on October 29 registered a case against a couple, with whom Singh had been having a fight when he was picked up. The couple is alleged to have assaulted him during the fight.

Mr. Vibhay’s complaint also mentioned that Mr. Mishra occasionally received threats from the couple, and expressed suspicion that they had kidnapped him to prevent him from deposing against them.

By Tuesday afternoon, reports started doing the rounds on WhatsApp that Mr. Mishra had been kidnapped. The police, however, clarified that he had already been traced, and that he was in his native Jaunpur with his wife and father.

“Our team traced him to Badlapur village using technical intelligence, after which we had a meeting with him and even recorded a video of him to prove that he was safe and sound. He told us that he went to his native place on his own,” senior police inspector Prashant Raje said.

However, Advocate Vinay Nair, who is representing the Singhs, maintains that Mr. Mishra is under threat. “Mr. Mishra’s family and I have no idea if he had been to his native place. He called me on Monday and told me that he is in Mumbai but under constant threat. I asked him to meet me at my office but he did not show up there either. He did not even appear for the court hearings,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 9:02:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/wadala-custodial-death-witness-goes-missing-found-in-up/article30153952.ece

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