Police dismiss charges of custodial violence in death of Mumbai blast detainee

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MUMBAI, July 17(ANI): The Mumbai Police on Sunday dismissed allegations of `custodial violence` as the reason behind his death of Faiz Usmani, who was detained for questioning in connection with the 13/7 Mumbai blasts.

Usmani, who was admitted to Lokmanya Tilak Hospital on Saturday after he reported feeling sick during questioning, died today.

Usmani`s family alleged that the police tortured him, but Mumbai Police spokesperson Nisar Tamboli denied such charges.

Tamboli said that Usmani was suffering from hypertension.

“There was no custodial violence at all. He was not in custody either. We had just called him for questioning at the Crime Branch, since he is the brother of Afzal Usmani, who is presently in a prison for his alleged role in the Ahmedabad blasts case. This is why he was called for interrogation. He was at the Crime Branch only for a span of 30 minutes, from 3.30 to 4 p.m. He was there only for half-n-hour, after which we had to rush him to the hospital,” Tamboli said.

“There was no custodial violence and no torture at all,” he added.

Tamboli further assured that the police would conduct an impartial investigation into the case.

“From our side, we will conduct an impartial investigation into the incident. Since the incident took place in the Crime Branch, the state`s Crime Investigation Department (CID) would probe into the matter.

They will conduct an impartial investigation and bring out a report in the matter,” he said.

Usmani is the brother of Afzal Usmani, who is currently lodged in a jail in connection with the 2008 Gujarat serial blasts. Afzal Usmani is believed to be an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative. The Mumbai Crime Branch arrested him in 2008. He is said to have provided cars in the 2008 Gujarat serial blasts.

Three blasts had rocked crowded areas of Mumbai during rush hour on Wednesday that killed 19 people and injured over 131 in one of the major militant attacks on India`s financial capital since 2008.

The major blast was at the Opera House, which once housed operas and is now a hub for diamond traders. The other blasts occurred at the Zaveri Bazaar, India`s largest bullion market, and Dadar, a crowded centre of the city.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts as yet.

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