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HC orders FIR against 9 cops in custodial death case

Observing that prima facie it was a serious crime, the Bombay High Court asked Mumbai crime branch on Tuesday, to probe and file an FIR against nine policemen for their alleged roles in the custodial death of a youth and sexual abuse of three others held in a robbery case.

Hearing a petition, Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode asked Director General of Police to personally monitor the probe. The bench placed the matter for hearing on June 13.

The judges asked the Maharashtra state government and other respondents to hand over the post mortem report of 24-year-old victim Agnelo Valdaris who died in police custody here in April 18, 2014. The judges directed that medical reports of the victim and the hospital register should be handed over to the deceased victim’s father.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the father of the deceased Leonard Xavier Valdaris and three other persons who were also arrested in this case along with Agnelo and were allegedly sexually abused in police custody.

The Wadala police claimed that Agnelo was killed after being run over by a train while attempting to flee from custody on April 18, 2014.

Counsel for the petitioners, Yug Choudhary, denied allegations that the boys had committed theft and said that the police was responsible for Agnelo’s custodial death.

The four boys were picked up by Wadala railway police from their residence on April 15 and April 16. They were taken to the police station where they were allegedly beaten up and questioned where they had kept a gold chain and a ring suspected to be stolen by them.

Though the petition demanded a CBI inquiry, the court did not give any such relief. However, judges said that it is a serious crime and hence asked the Crime Branch to register an FIR immediately against the nine accused cops.

The petition also sought compensation of Rs 1 crore for the deceased and Rs 50 lakh for each of the three others who were arrested and allegedly sexually abused in custody.

The other three petitioners are Sufiyan Mohammed Khan, Mohammed Irfan Hajan and Arbaz Shamim Khan.

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