Sheikh Babu Nishar
Vadodara: Six cops of Fatehgunj police station were booked for custodial death of a 62-year-old Ahmedabad man, who was arrested as a theft accused and then allegedly tortured to extract a confession, in December last year.
The offence was registered on Monday night on the day when Gujarat high court had ordered the city police to present the probe report. The victim Sheikh Babu Nishar’s son Salim had filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court last month as there was no trace of his father since January 25 when he had submitted a missing person complaint at Sayajigunj police station.
Nishar used to sell bedsheets in different cities by roaming around on his bicycle while his son has a provision store in Ahmedabad’s Shah-e-Alam area. There is no trace of his body yet.
The six cops have been identified as PI Dharmendrasinh Gohil, PSI Dashrath Rabari and LRD jawans Pankaj Mavjibhai, Yogendrasinh Jeelansinh, Rajesh Savjibhai and Hitesh Shambhubhai. Gohil was later shunted out to the traffic branch and then to Ahmedabad police.
On December 10, Nishar and his son-in-law Ibrahim Khan Pathan had parted outside the Vadodara central bus depot to meet again after a few hours. When Nishar did not return by evening, Pathan searched for him and later informed Salim. After searching in Vadodara and Ahmedabad for over a month, Nishar’s family members lodged the missing person complaint.
Police claim the investigation was being done by inspector SG Solanki of Sayajigunj police station. “A day before the complaint was registered on January 31, assistant commissioner of police (ACP) P H Bhesaniya alerted me that something fishy had happened at Fatehgunj police station. After informing senior officials the ACP was asked to conduct a confidential probe,” said deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Deepak Meghani. Bhesaniya had got a whiff of it through his informers.
Meghani added that two parallel probes were being conducted and at a later stage, the investigation by Bhesaniya was handed over to his colleague ACP Bakul Chaudhari and that of Solanki to another ACP SG Patil. Patil, on Monday, became the complainant against the six cops.
They were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, disappearance of evidence, destruction of documents to prevent its production as evidence and giving false information.