CBI probe sought in NRI chef’s death

Saturday, February 19, 2011

PANAJI - A civil rights group and a relative of a non-resident Indian (NRI) chef, who died in police custody, demanded Saturday that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe be ordered into the controversial death.

The Goa government has already formed a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the death of 39-year-old Cipriano Fernandes, who was arrested by the police Jan 6 and died a day later of head injuries.

The accused are policemen. They themselves cannot be allowed to investigate the case. They will only let their guilty colleagues off. We want the CBI to probe the case, John Gomes, convenor of Utt Goenkara, told a press conference here Saturday.

Gomes was accompanied by Cosme Fernandes, a cousin of Cipriano Fernandes.

Cipriano Fernandes was in Goa on holiday. He was arrested after his girlfriend complained that he threatened her with a knife. The next day he was admitted to the Goa Medical College hospital after he started frothing at the mouth. Fernandes died in the hospital.

Following an agitation by civil groups and Fernandes’ relatives, the state government initiated an enquiry by a sub-divisional magistrate, who confirmed custodial death and named three police officials, including station house officer Sandesh Chodankar, for the crime.

The three officials were later suspended.

Gomes said: “We demand that all the police officials on duty at the Panaji town police station that day should be immediately transferred for the purpose of fair, proper and transparent investigation.”

Cipriano Fernandes’ body remains in the state morgue after his relatives refused to claim it until all the guilty policemen are arrested.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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