Family, lawyer allege he was tortured
Rafiq Shaikh was arrested on Thursday in a fake currency case, died on Sunday afternoon; police deny allegations of torture, say he could’ve died of cardiac arrest
Divyesh Singh and Jyoti Shelar firstname.lastname@example.org , Dec 3, 2012
A35-year-old man, arrested on Thursday in a fake currency case, died in police custody on Sundayafternoon.Whilepolice officers suggested he died of a heart attack, and a post-mortem was yet to be conducted, the deceased’s brother and his lawyer have alleged that he was tortured.
Police have denied the allegations, but said they would wait for the postmortem report before investigating further.TheCrimeBranchhasbeenaskedto look into the case.
Rafiq Shaikh was among two people arrested by the Dharavi police on ThursdayafterfakecurrencyworthRs1,20,000 was found on them in denominations of Rs500andRs1000.Shaikhwasproduced in court on Friday and was sent to police custody till December 4.
Shaikh was taken to Sion Hospital on Sunday afternoon, where he was declared dead at around 3.45 pm. His familymembers,andhislegalcounselAbhay Bhoir,allegetheyweregivennoinformationaboutShaikh’sdeath,andthatitwas only when they went to the police station in the evening to check on him that they were told he had died in custody.
“Wekeptaskingcopsatthepolicestation about my brother but no one was ready to tell us what happened to him,” Shaikh’s brother Majid told Mumbai Mirror.“ItwasonlywhenadvocateBhoir asked them, at around 7 pm, that they said he had died in custody.”
Bhoir added, “I had met him on Friday evening at the police station and he toldmethatthatthepolicehadassaulted him while trying to get information about the source of the fake notes.”
Bhoir also said that when he and Majid saw the body on Sunday evening at Sion Hospital, there were injury marks on his jaw, hands and legs that suggested assault. However, there was no confirmation from the hospital about the injury marks.
According to Majid, Shaikh worked for a private cosmetics company and stayed alone in Mumbai. His wife and five kids are in West Bengal, and he was sole bread winner of the family.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dhananjay Kulkarni, said, “The accused Shaikh died while in custody at the Dharavi police station but the cause of death will only be known once the post mortem is completed”.
The body will be sent to JJ Hospital and the post-mortem will be conducted on Monday. Depending on the cause of death, further inquiries will be initiated, apolice officer said.
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