Gujarat: 4 policemen booked for ‘custodial death’ of 2 tribal youths in Navsari

Four policemen were booked Wednesday over the alleged custodial death of two tribal youths, who were found dead on Chikhli police station premises in Navsari.

Two tribal youths from Dangs, Sunil Pawar (19) and Ravi Jadav (19), were detained on suspicion of vehicle theft on July 20 at Chikhli police station. The next day, bodies of both the youths were found hanging with an electric cable attached to a computer system in the computer room.

The four policemen — Ajit Sinh Zala (Police Inspector), M B Kokni (Police Sub-inspector), Shanti Sinh Zala (Head Constable), Ramji Yadav (Police Constable)—who were earlier suspended in connection with the case have been booked under IPC Section 302(murder) and under the relevant section of the Atrocity Act.

Navsari DSP Rushikesh Upadhyay said, “We have registered and offence into the incident, after meeting the family members of the deceased… The investigation will be carried out by Deputy Superintendent of Police of Navsari SC/ST cell R D Faldu.”

Talking to The Indian Express Sunil Pawar’s elder brother Mahesh Pawar (25) said, “We suspect that Sunil was mentally and physically tortured by the cops. He had no criminal cases against him, and the police were trying to frame him in the vehicle theft case. We demand that the policemen be strictly punished. ”

In the last two days, BJP and Congress leaders had submitted memorandums to the authorities concerned demanding strict action against the four policemen.

On July 27, Dangs BJP MLA Vijay Patel, along with family members of deceased two youths, had met Navsari District Superintendent of police Rushikesh Upadhyay, and made representations seeking to register offence against all the four policemen.

Dangs MLA Vijay Patel told The Indian Express, “We condemn such incidents… I took the family members of the two youths to the DSP office and submitted the representation. The police officials have ordered Chikhli Police to register offence against the four suspended policemen.”

Congress MLAs Anand Chaudhary, Punaji Gamit and Anant Patel,along with party’s former MP Amarsinh Z Chaudhary Wednesday handed over a memorandum to Mamlatdar of Dharampur Priyanka Patel seeking to book the four police officers under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under the IPC and relevant sections of Atrocity Act.

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