Target: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice
Goal: Reopen investigation into the alleged murder of Agnelo Valdaris and charge all officers found to be responsible.
Accused of robbery, Agnelo Valdaris was arrested by Mumbai law enforcement, and was found dead within days. Authorities claim that he was struck by a train while fleeing custody. However, before his death in custody, law enforcement allegedly violated both department protocol and several laws. The arresting officers reportedly did not clearly identify themselves as police officers. The arrest log was forged, recording the time of the arrest as being 36 hours later than it actually occurred. Measures designed to prevent torture mandate that arrestees receive a medical examination to survey injuries. However, it was 38 hours before Agnelo received a medical examination.
The examining doctor observed numerous injuries, which Mr. Valdaris alleged were caused by beating, torture, and sexual assaults committed by officers. Multiple witnesses corroborated his statements. In response, officers from the Wadala Railway Station Law allegedly attempted to coerce both the examining doctor and Agnelo’s father into stating that Agnelo’s injuries were self-inflicted. While his father agreed, the doctor refused.
Under Indian law, suspects must be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours of their arrest. Agnelo never made it to a courtroom. Within hours of his return into custody, he was dead. The officers involved in this case have been charged with abuse, criminal conspiracy, forging evidence, negligence, sexual assault, and wrongful confinement. However, no one has been held responsible for his death. Despite the fact that officers at Wadala Railway Station are suspected of forging evidence, their explanation of Agnelo’s death has remained largely unscrutinised. Sign our petition and demand an independent and transparent investigation of the death of Agnelo Valdaris and that those responsible face charges for their crimes.
Dear Minister Prasad,
I was shocked to hear of Agnelo Valdaris’ death in custody. While I applaud the CBI’s investigation of allegations of torture, fabrication of evidence, and sexual assault in custody, I believe that the circumstances surrounding Mr. Valdaris’ death merit further investigation.
Officers claim that Mr. Valdaris was struck by a train while attempting to flee custody. However, these same officers have proven themselves not to be credible witnesses, having allegedly forged police reports, violated basic human rights, attempted to intimidate a medical professional, and failed to produce a suspect before a magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. I urge you to open an independent and transparent investigation of Mr. Valdaris’ death and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Liftarn