Six members of a family, and an auto driver, were arrested on Wednesday night for murdering a 15-year-old boy for having an affair with their daughter.
The victim has been identified as the resident of State Bank of India colony in Nerul. His father is a clerk at the bank’s Ghansoli branch. Investigation revealed that the boy was an FYJC student of a Navi Mumbai college and Monday proved to be his first and the last day of college.
An officer from Nerul police station said, “The girl and the boy were classmates since Std VII and took admissions in the same college. Their relationship came to the fore after girl’s brother was informed about it by a few of his friends, which enraged him as the boy belonged to a different caste.”
Speaking to mid-day, Swapnil Sonawane’s maternal uncle Suresh Gaikwad said his nephew would had been alive had the police taken immediate action. He even accused Sub-Inspector Sonali Rajguru of ridiculing them upon approaching the cops to lodge a complaint against the girl’s family.
“On Monday, the girl’s brother Sagar Naik called Swapnil at the building’s entrance on the pretext of borrowing a pendrive. Instead, he kidnapped and assaulted Swapnil. Sagar threatened him with dire consequences if he ever met his sister again. He then dragged him to the police station and tried lodged a complaint against him, which did not happen. Upon learning about the occurrences, my sister and her husband first approached the police station to register a complaint. But the lady officer ridiculed their plight by saying ‘whether they were making Sairat part 2’ and refused to register a complaint or an NC. They then visited the Naiks and apologised for Swapnil’s behaviour.”
Gaikwad added that instead of accepting their apology, the Naiks abused and manhandled the couple. They showed Swapnil’s cellphone they had taken into custody and said it contained images, video clips, and chats of the young couple. “The Naiks refused to handover the cellphone despite destroying the memory card,” he said.
The next evening, around 7 pm, Sagar barged into Swapnil’s residence and forcefully took him to the building’s terrace. Here he threatened to throw him off. “Not satisfied, Sagar once again kidnapped my nephew and took him home and thrashed him following an argument,” Gaikwad said.
Swapnil sustained grievous head injuries in the assault and was rushed to DY Patil hospital in Navi Mumbai by his parents, where he breathed his last around 10 pm.
“The boy succumbed to a head injury,” said an officer from Nerul police station.
“My son claimed that the girl was in love with him. She even cut her wrist once to prove how much she loved him. When I approached the Nerul police to lodge a complaint on Tuesday, they refused to cooperate. They (Naiks) made my son touch their feet as a gesture of apology, which he did. Despite this, they kicked and punched him,” said Swapnil’s father Shahaji.
Following Swapnil’s death, the Nerul police arrested Sagar Naik, Rajendra Naik (father), Sajesh Naik (brother), Malti Naik (mother), Ashish Thakur and Durgesh Patil, Sagar’s friends, and auto driver Samir Shaikh, whose vehicle was used on Monday to kidnap the minor, yesterday. All seven were booked for 302, 364, 504, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In addition, an internal inquiry was initiated against three officers, including PSI Rajguru and PSI Yogesh Mane for refusing to register a complaint in this matter. Rajguru and Mane were suspended last evening said investigating officer ACP, Dhanraj Damya.
Also, RPI activists staged protest outside the police station demanding stringent action against the accused and negligent officers that resulted in Swapnil’s death.