- Please note that this article had been written when the media attention hadn't started and many details were unclear. Please refer to Developments in the case for accurate updated information.
- Dear Indian media,By that, I mean journalists, editors, news anchors..... any and all of you supposedly committed to dispersing news of importance to the country. We need you to do your job. It is important. It is important to you as a person too, though it may not be visible to you right now.The story of the deaths of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandeshas found very brief mention in the media. Not as much as one would expect with an out and out stabbing of two people on the streets over eve teasing. It was inexplicable until word came around that the MP from the area himself is arranging for a lawyer for the killers.With elections coming up, all political parties are making nice with Valmiki Nagar - the area that the goons came from, and part of the making nice seems to be reassuring families of the killers that they will get "justice".In a country where even the anti-corruption movement doesn't have unanimous support, apparently these people who can attack a group of people with swords and knives indeed have all party support. How is justice expected to happen in this situation?
- Harini Calamur lays out the problem bluntly.
- Friends of Keenan and Reuben are coping with grief, supporting devastated families how they can, following up on legal aspects of the case and are encountering increasing political support for the killers. Why is it that a case of butchering citizens on the streets is a political matter at all, why is it that if a politician must do something, instead of working to secure the city, the intent is to protect killers?Why is Ashok Bhau Jadhav Congress MLA from Andheri W sponsoring the killers lawyers? Why are the police not arresting the extra 13 odd goons who swiftly came to back Rana's attack armed with swords and knives? How is it that a group of people so boldly arriving armed as a gang in three rickshaws is totally untracable? What efforts are on to find them at all?
And no simple killer this. Rana already has two murder cases pending against him and yet was out on the streets free to kill more. On arrest he was confident that he would be out in a few months. There is no remorse of any kind.
- As the media in this country, do you not feel any responsibility? You are supposed to be a pillar of democracy. You have been speaking yourself hoarse over corruption. Then why this all pervading silence over politicians protecting murderers over vote banks?Even the "allergic to migrants" Raj Thackeray is silent and MNS activists are among those "meeting" residents of Valmiki Nagar along with other parties. What is this sudden political emergency emerging in this area? Why is it that there is no story visible here to you?We need you to find your integrity as a pillar of democracy. To find the honor in your jobs. To trump priorities with patriotism. To ask these burning questions and prevent the impunity with which this shocking dismissal of ethics is happening among those who should look after the well being of the people.Because you are not journalists only. You are also people who could be stabbed on the street for protecting someone you love. Keenan Santos could be you.We need your help. We don't want to become the people we see us becoming with this story. We want you to amplify our voice and help us insist on justice and question protections killers get from politicians.Sincerely,A Mumbaikar, an Indian.Update: since this letter was written, things have changed. Media has indeed picked up the story, several newspapers covering it in detail, channels covering, taking up campaigns, speaking to politicians on behalf of victims… Thought I should acknowledge that here.Update2: Media attention came and went. Nothing concrete has happened. Attention has moved on. The lawyer promised by the CM - Ujwal Nikam - hasn't been approached. The killer's face being shown in the media has actually weakened the case. Four accused are saying they didn't do it. Seventeen accused have families protesting their arrest. The rumors about political support for killers still very much alive. Your efforts will be no use if this ends like this. Read about the developments (long, source referenced research post. don't read on mobile. Give it a minute to open). We need you to stay with this. To see it through. If not everyday, but running reports often enough that it can't be parked under the carpet.
- This post takes over from where the previous one about the facts of the murder of Keenan and Reuben ended. With new information coming in, I thought it better to create a fresh one with updated understanding and more meticulously referenced sources. You probably don't need to refer to the older one anymore unless you are really researching the case.
- “According to the FIR, the brawl ensued when Jitendra Rana, the prime accused was getting too close to the group (victims). Avinash Bali, a member of the group asked him to keep his distance. However, Rana continued his behaviour and told Bali that he was acting smart just because he was accompanied by girls. Bali slapped him and this prompted Rana and three of his accomplices and return with choppers, the FIR revealed.
The FIR stated that the accused then assaulted the victim with it, killing Santos (October 20) and seriously injuring Fernandez, who succumbed to his injuries on November 2.
- This pretty much summarizes what happened. The details of the confessions, sources, etc will be found in the previous post on the facts of the case linked at the start.
- “Police sources said Solanki alias Bali has been an informant for over a decade. He has provided tip-offs to the Anti-Narcotics Cell on many occasions, following which raids have been conducted. Earlier, Solanki was an informer for an encounter specialist attached to the Juhu police station. Solanki provided information on gangland movement to the encounter specialist.
I don't know if this above information is relevant. TOI has dedicated an entire article where Bali comes off very badly with allegations ranging from blocking access to parents to political partisanship. Reporters having little instinct for presenting data and hunch distinctly, there is no way of knowing how much of this is obstruction and how much is perception. Not directly relevant to the case.Kept this here on the off chance that in some bizarre twist, Bali's work as informer turns out to be relevant to the motive/attack. Chances low.
- “He said he did not mention sexual harassment in the FIR because he was traumatized by what had happened and wanted to protect the girls. "However, it became necessary to give the full story. I flew to Delhi to convince the parents of one girl to allow her to give her statement to the police. Another victim is from a conservative background but I appealed to her parents to come forward as well," he said.
- This is why initial case was murder only, and other charges are now added.
- I don't know if anyone remembers me speculating about the impact of showing the faces of the suspects on TV. Apparently, that hunch was right.
- “After being vocal about their sons' demise, the families of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes are now refusing to talk to the media.According to the police, the families are upset that the photograph of the main accused had been made public by the media. This has in turn weakened the case, the police said.
- The following news is significant. How, remains to be known. Why was he changed is obviously the important question. The other important question being if the change helps the case or not.
- The following news is seriously good. Evidence trumps confessions/statements any day.
- They have to go ahead with the identification parade anyway.
- “The DN Nagar police will conduct the identification parade of the four accused in double murder case next week.On October 20, Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes died after they got involved in a scuffle with a drunk man outside the Amboli Bar and Kitchen Restaurant. Also, the police will conduct the identification parade of the 17 persons who had prevented a police team from arresting the main accused, Jitendra Rana, and his three accomplices. All 17 are currently lodged in Arthur Road jail. “The charge sheet in the case will be filed and submitted before 90 days,” said Vijay Bhoite, senior inspector, DN Nagar police station.
- Now here is the strange one.
- “In response to an inquiry requested by Benjamin Fernandez, the brother of Amboli murder victim Reuben, as to why the police questioned Reuben while he was in the ICCU at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, zonal DCP Pratap Dighavkar said that no such interrogation took place."We conducted an inquiry and found that a constable from D N Nagar police station had gone to the hospital. Constables are not supposed to question a victim. So, it is not true that he tried to quiz Reuben. He had only gone to collect a letter from the doctors, stating the exact condition of Reuben," Dighavkar said.
And thisshould be investigated independently. Because if we go by logic, the families of victims neededthe cooperation of both the police as well as hospital, so it makes no sense to antagonize them with allegations. And yes, the information that the hospital was being difficult with Reuben's treatment as well as this police visit was known while he was still alive, so it doesn't make sense as a case of finding someone to blame.Verifying this should be fairly easy with CCTVs. And these CCTVs too not working should definitely be seen as a reason for more investigation.In the quote below, B. Raman makes an important point.
- “The most shocking aspect of the incident was the utterly shameful and shocking and inhuman inaction of a group of about 40 bystanders, who watched the two boys being surrounded and murdered by the hooligans without the least attempt to go to their rescue. They watched as if they were watching a street play. I can understand — but will not excuse— if there were only one or two bystanders and they were afraid of intervening. There were about 40 of them. There was no excuse for their inaction. There were so many things they could have done. They could have raised an alarm and collected more people. They could have intervened physically. But they did nothing. They just watched— not in horror, not with shock, but just with a sense of disinterested curiosity. They probably saw it as a quarrel between young men over women and as none of their business. Even the use of a knife by one of the hooligans for repeatedly stabbing did not make them intervene.Even more shocking than the passive attitude of the bystanders was the attitude of some of the people in a nearby restaurant as narrated by one of the girl friends to Barkha. According to her, after the hooligans had run away, when she pleaded to the people in the restaurant to help her in taking care of the injured and dying, none of them came forward to help her. Can one imagine anything more inhuman and callous?
- “This inaction of the bystanders and others shows to what extent inhuman traits have seeped into our society. The only way of dealing with it is through education and creation of awareness of our duty as members of the society and citizens of this country. Under the law, watching a person being killed without going to his or her rescue is itself a crime. The police should prosecute not only the perpetrators, but also those bystanders who can be identified.
And it is worth asking why the bystanders are not being prosecuted as well. Including the restaurant,paanwala, coconut seller, whoever else, including people on the street whocan be identified, and unidentified people.Though I have a hunch that we may not have a good law covering this, or it would be widely known, seeing as how often it gets violated. Not to mention someone bringing it up for this case itself.
- “Four men have been arrested for the murders of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes, and a senior IPS official has said that some of the accused have confessed to being directly involved in the crime. "However, such confessions have no value in court. Therefore, we will soon seek the consent of all the accused to record their statements before a magistrate," the officer said. "If they agree, we would be able to present our case before the court in a better manner."
- It will be a stroke of luck if they agree, seeing as how it would pretty much be the nail on their coffin.
- “There were also reports that Rana has connections with Swabhimaan Sanghatana, an NGO headed by Nitesh Rane, younger son of senior Congress leader and industries minister Narayan Rane. However, the NGO has distanced itself from Rana. "Rana's performance in the organization was not satisfactory and he was asked to resign. Six months back, he had resigned," said Rajesh Bagdi, spokesperson for the NGO.
- Yeah, right. If he were still a member, they would say that he was, and that they supported him, etc. This is meaningless verification in the face of the massive banner - I have an image of the banner, but seeing as how the identification parade hasn't yet happened, I think it is wiser to not further publish Rana's face.
- “A couple of hours after the fight, at around the time that Keenan was declared dead and Reuben had finally been taken to a hospital, Rana was at the local office of Nitesh Rane’s Swabhimaan Sangathana, a party with which he has close links. At the entrance to Anand Nagar, for example, a giant hoarding propped up on a metal frame wishes residents of Amboli ‘Happy Diwali’. On this banner, put up by Swabhimaan Sangathana workers, are prominent photographs of both Nitish Rane and Jitendra Rana.
- It is unknown how this information was verified, but going by this, Swabhimaan Sangathana has exactly zero luck of convincing anyone of his exit from their party.
- “Jitendra Rana is 30; a barber by profession, a small-time political muscleman in his spare time, a father of two and the sole breadwinner in a household of six (his job at an up-market Lokhandwala salon earns him Rs 35,000 a month). His neighbours at Anand Nagar in Andheri, where he grew up, describe him as a hot-headed person prone to bouts of violence. Residents of Valmiki Nagar near Amboli, which he visits often, say he is a trouble-maker, a man who loves to pick fights.His immediate family refuse to speak, neither about him nor about the incident that sparked a wave of anger that has swept across the city over the last three weeks.
- Again, there is no information on the source of this information. Therefore, I don't know if it is simply an "Afternoon style" claim repeated, or something verified. Particularly since the previous quote (about Bali) that sounded "odd" was also TOI.
- “Valmiki Nagar is a slum pocket made up of 150 shanties packed together so tightly that sunlight barely creeps through into the tiny lanes between houses. At one end of the colony lives Rana’s sister, her husband and her in-laws.On the evening of October 20, Rana was at his sister’s house for her nephew’s birthday party and had stepped out for a smoke with four of his friends when they saw the group of friends that included Keenan and Reuben outside Amboli Kitchen and Bar and started passing lewd remarks about three women who were with them. “When the fight got ugly he called for help from locals,” a housewife said, while others around her nodded in agreement. “Several boys and even women rushed in his direction after being told that he and some others had been beaten for no fault of theirs. By the time most of us reached the spot, two boys were down. He had ruthlessly picked up a knife from a shop and attacked two of the boys.”
So these are the bystanders - part of them at least.Some history of the other killers:
- “Dulhaj, who led the attack on Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez on October 20 outside the Amboli Bar and Kitchen, Andheri (West), was booked in an attempt-to-murder case last year. He is notorious in Valmiki Nagar, Andheri (West), where he lives along with his wife, three children, mother and a brother. He is a sweeper in a housing society in Andheri (West).
- “The attempt-to-murder case was filed against him on Diwali last year after a complaint from a neighbour, Jitendra Piwal. Recounting the incident, Piwal told TOI: "My daughter, along with other children, was celebrating Diwali when Satish (Dulhaj) with a few of his friends lit a firecracker and threw it on the children. I objected to this, leading to a heated argument between us."The argument turned ugly. Satish hit me with a rod, fracturing my hand. I lodged a compliant with the police. Following that, a case under the IPC's section 307 (attempt to murder) was slapped on him." On the arrest of Dulhaj and two other Valmiki Nagar residents (Bodh and Tival) in the Amboli case, Piwal said: "Satish and his friends were good-for-nothings. The gang would crowd at the entrance of our slum and try to trip passersby. It is good that Satish is behind bars."
- “Tival, a 19-year-old sweeper accused of hitting Reuben’s brother, Benjamin, with a stump, was arrested the next day, though his father insists his son could not have hurt anyone. “My son ran towards the spot with everyone else when he heard about the fight. I wasn’t at the spot, but from what I heard, my son never attacked anyone,” Tival’s father Ishwar said. “If my son is guilty he should be hanged, but I strongly believe he had nothing to do with the murder.” Tival, who suffered tuberculosis as a child and still undergoes medication for it twice a year, works as a sweeper at the Amboli Police Station.
- This below is interesting and I think related more to the socio-poiltical developments from this incident, because I don't think you can convict someone on a law that is created/changed after the crime. However, I am not a lawyer and this is just a stray thing I remember from the Wikileaks storm earlier. Or maybe that is US laws and in India it can be done. I don't know.
- Now here is the strange part. The police seem certain that star public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam will be fighting this case, politicians sound fairly open (eager almost) to provide whatever the family wants to strengthen their case and Ujjwal Nikam seems to be part of that, yet no one has actually spoken to Ujjwal Nikam at all. So what is happening here?
- “The IPS official said the home department has roped in leading criminal lawyer Ujwal Nikam to represent the home department. "We are in regular touch with Nikam. We will seek his opinion and guidance when we reach the stage of filing the chargesheet. In fact, the chargesheet will be filed after his approval," he said.
- “On Wednesday, complainant in the case, Avinash Solanki alias Bali, had claimed that the government had appointed Nikam as the special prosecutor in the case. Home minister RR Patil clarified that the families of victims had indeed requested the government to have senior counsel Ujwal Nikam fight their case, but stopped short of confirming the appointment. "We had promised to provide whichever counsel they ask for. Accordingly, we will get Nikam to fight their case," Patil told Hindustan Times.
- In other news, the expected storm over the hospital's mishandling of Reuben's treatment has hit.
- “Silveira said the minister was told about the suspected negligence in Fernandes’ treatment at the Kokilaben Ambani Hospital. He said, “By October 25, Fernandes was talking normally, his reflexes were normal and he even tried to walk. Doctors told us that they would start physiotherapy. But his condition suddenly deteriorated by October 29 and he began vomiting blood.“On October 31, when he required immediate surgery, the chief surgeon was on leave. We told them to arrange for a good surgeon from another hospital, but they refused saying it was against the rules. My friend died of excessive bleeding.” Benjamin said the minister assured them that a panel of government doctors would conduct an inquiry. “He also said a doctor would be appointed to monitor the panel to ensure impartiality.”
- Reuben's family: 'Want all medical reports'
Just want to note here that you can refer to the previous post for links to Facebook updates about difficulty dealing with the doctors *before* Reuben died. Justin case anyoneis inclined to think that this is grief and disappointment fabricating the complaint.Here is what is happening with the extras.
- “As of now, their families - all in Valmiki Nagar - are scrambling to try and put together money for bail. “They’ve been booked under false charges. We’ve been trying to get help from local politicians but none of them have helped,” said a resident. “Most of us have been voting for the local Shiv Sena coroporator and often invite him for our functions. But when we approached him, he refused to help. Even the local Congress leader who comes here often, brushed us off. We will show them in the (upcoming BMC) elections. None of us will vote.”
- “"My husband (Hemsingh Kagad) was picked up by police who came in the early morning. When I asked why they were taking him, the plainclothes policemen said it was a routine formality and they would soon release him," said Rosy Kagad. She said the cops broke down the main door of her shanty. "Since the whole family was sleeping, it took time to open the door. The impatient policemen broke open the main door," said Rosy.
- “Sulochana Chandalia is distraught . Her husband, son and son-in-law , who were visiting from their hometown in Haryana, were rounded up by the police. One of the murder accused Jitendra Rana, 25, is their relative and was at a birthday party at their home a few hours before the violence on October 20. "He had left the party and after that we don't know what happened. The police came knocking later and picked up the men in our house, though the men had nothing to do with what happened at the paan shop," said Sulochana.
- So either the families are pretending to not understand, or they don't actually know that their people have been arrested for messing with the cops and not assisting with the murder.
- One mystery question remains. If the same people who "eve teased" returned for choppers and back up, why didn't they use either choppers or back up to kill? Why take the coconut seller's knife and use stump, etc if they had choppers? Why attack before backup arrived? This post will get updated now, not the earlier one or a new link added if more content comes in.
As the hurt, anger and grief flows down the page of the group honoring Keenan Santos (and now Reuben Fernandes), it isn't too difficult to see what is getting people so raw and frustrated.
A post by Clifford D'souza voices the collective thoughts and numb resolve.
Stand up for what is right and do the right thing
Keenan passed away while his friends and family prayed for his existence. Reuben passed away while the entire country prayed for him. A local MLA visits Keenan & Reuben’s family offering condolences and then goes to Valmiki Nagar assuring the killers that they have all the backing in the world for some justice that they never ever deserve. The 4 main accused have been arrested and they claim that they will be out within months, unharmed. The other 13 men are still at large and claim they had nothing to do with it. Eye-witnesses just stood there watching a so-called ‘Tamasha’ happening. And we friends and folks are just cribbing about what can be done when the people who were close to us or who have become very close to our hearts can never be brought back into this world.
Where is the “Maharashtra Navanirman Sena’. Isn’t Amboli a part of the so called ‘Aamchi Mumbai’. Why are political parties interfering in this matter. Even if they interfere, why would those jackasses support both sides at the same time? Why would a MLA of the locality fight for the killers by arranging lawyers for them and assuring them that everything will be fine and they will not be behind bars for long?
What I ask as I type this is, ‘Is there a GOD?’ Is there something called as justice? Can we bank on our so called leaders in this pathetic political system? Has this incident with Keenan & Reuben justified the meaning of ‘Jungle Raj’?
Keenan and Reuben, I didn’t know them. We have a few mutual friends but the incident they were involved in touched my heart. It made me think, I can be a Keenan Santos tomorrow too when I stand up for a friend of mine in a similar situation. What do I do then? Have my friends mourn or help things get better now so that a future Keenan Santos massacre can be avoided? There are many questions, a lot of time, but very few answers to give.
We have thousands of members in this group and we should leverage this number to our advantage. Use the power of Social Media to have as many eyeballs attracted to his awareness as possible. Come together, form an organization/movement and put it forward to the Mumbai Police/Government. After this incident and the ongoings I doubt we can trust the Government or Police in this. We have our churches, temples, mosques and other religious institutions. There should be something we can do to make sure the policies in such cases are more stringent and unchanged.
This city is far from being called as ‘Safe’. Yes, people unite in terms of support and prayers, but this happens only after some attack or the other. These have to be stopped and you my friends can be the best carriers of this message. Go out, spread the word, do what is right, leverage all contacts you have got, come up with ideas & suggestions and I’m sure I’m not the only one listening to these ideas. One man could never change the world, it all happens in the movies. A group of people who believe in what they are doing can certainly affect the way the world thinks for sure.
It’s painful and disheartening to say this after all that happened and I hope it happens after such a brutal incident, but -
‘Rest In Peace Keenan and Reuben. You are our heroes for what you have done and I’m sure we’ll be able to crack the code and help make this world a better place to live in’.
I have written the initial story of the Amboli attack which led to the murder of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes. Since then, more details and descriptions from various accounts have given a clearer picture.
The two videos from which a lot of information has been collected are at the bottom of the post.
Noting here the events as I understood they happened.
- On the 20th October 2011, 7 friends went to Amboli Kitchen and Bar for dinner and to watch cricket match on big screen. Keenan Santos, Reuben Fernandes, Avinash Bali, Benjamin Fernandes, Priyanka Fernandes, Shobhita and one more girl were present in the group.
- On exiting the restaurant, they encountered a group of drunk men standing outside who started making comments about the girls in the group. [Avinash, in video] These men were later identified as Jitendar Rana, Sunil Both, Satish Durgaj and Deepak Piswal. These are called thugs in the rest of the article for ease.
- The boys in the group confronted the drunks and slapped them and sent them away. [Avinash, in video]
- The area was “bustling with life”. Restaurant busy, cafe nearby open, people on the street. Doors to a political party’s office on their right were wide open. [Priyanka, in video, article]
- As they left, Avinash Solanki heard one of them mutter to Reuben that he would kill him “maar dunga tum logon ko”. He did not think much of it at the time. [Avinash, in video]
- The thugs returned with more people who were armed with sickles, knives, bamboos, stumps [Priyanka, in video, article] and other weapons and suddenly attacked the group from behind. [Avinash, in video]
- Keenan pushed his girlfriend Priyanka toward the restaurant and was almost immediately attacked by the thugs. He fought hard inspite of stab wounds. Perhaps he didn’t realize that he had been stabbed immediately.[Priyanka, in video, article]
- The girls started screaming for help. There was a crowd of bystanders gathered, but no one came to help. [Priyanka and Avinash in video, Priyanka in article]
- Avinash saw a glass near by and hit Rana with it, and it cut his forehead, which helped identify him later. [Avinash, in video]
- Reuben was attacked by several other thugs, and they wrestled Keenan to the ground and kneeled on him to hold him down and stabbed him while he was held immobile and defenseless. [Benji , in video2]
- Avinash saw a ladder lying near by and picked it and flung it at the four and knocked them off balance and dragged Keenan and Reuben inside the restaurant. [Avinash, in video, also Benji in video2]
- According to statements made by Both, Durgas and Piswal, the three, who work as sweepers in Lokhandwala, were attending a party in their locality, when a flustered Rana came running towards them. He told them that he had been beaten up by four men. Not waiting to hear the rest of the story, they rushed to the spot with him. When Durgas got off the rickshaw, he saw a coconut vendor who was wrapping up for the day. “Durgas picked up two knives from the vendor, and handed one to Rana. Both and Piswal were carrying stumps and hockey sticks. Durgas and Rana approached Reuben and Keenan and stabbed them,” said a police inspector at DN Nagar police station. “The other two friends, Avinash Solanki and Benjamin Fernandez were saved, as they were beaten up with hockey sticks and stumps,” added the officer. [Mid DAY]
- In their statements, the accused have given a chilling account of the manner in which they murdered the youths, the police claimed.According to the accused, who are sweepers at Lokhandwala, there was a birthday party in their locality when Rana came up to them and said he had been beaten up by a group. Rana and three others rushed to the spot, where the two victims were present with their friends.When Durgaj got off the rickshaw, he saw a coconut vendor nearby and picked up two knives and handed one to Rana. “Sunil and Deepak were carrying stumps and a hockey stick. Satish and Rana, without saying a word, approached Ruben and Santos and stabbed them in the stomach,” said V Bhoite, senior inspector from the DN Nagar police station. [Indian Express]
- Rana, who is the prime accused in the case, allegedly explained to his friends how to “kill with a chopper” as they were leaving the spot, said a source privy to the investigation. [DNA Article]
- The accused, identified as Satish Durgaj, was allegedly the one who picked up two knives from a vendor and stabbed Santos, the police said. Police officers investigating the case said Durgaj had been arrested by the Amboli police earlier this year in an attempt to murder case. [Indian Express]
- One waiter from the restaurant helped, all others stayed back, avoided. Rickshaws and taxis didn’t stop. Avinash said on Times Now that the hotel had a staff of about 20-25 people. Perhaps, if they had helped immediately, perhaps they could have saved Keenan and Reuben. Priyanka describes this restaurant as one they went to often and they were known by the staff. The girls were begging for help. [Avinash, in video]
- He [GM of Amboli Kitchen & Bar] also claimed that his waiters and staff members were unaware that a heinous crime was being committed outside the premises, and helped as soon as they got wind of it … About the allegation leveled by the friends of the deceased that none of the staff members came forward to help them during the violent attack, Bhaiji explained, “Ours is an enclosed restaurant. By the time we realised what was happening, the damage had been done. Everything happened so quickly. As soon as we got wind that one of the boys had been badly injured, one of our waiters pulled him inside the restaurant. He was rushed to the hospital immediately. We have been deeply disturbed by what happened, and have tried to do whatever we can to salvage the situation. We want to support the cause in whichever manner we can,” he added.[NDTV Article]
- The girls called 100 for the police. The call was “waiting” It would be another 20 minutes before it got answered. [This has been brought up as a serious security concern several times by different people and it continues to remain a concern] [Priyanka, Avinash, Keenan's father in video, several other sources also DNA Article]
- Police deny any delay of response and claim that they reached the scene and the hospital immediately after getting the call.
- Failing to call the police, Priyanka called up Keenan’s father who arrived shortly after Reuben was taken to the hospital and followed there a short time before Keenan died 20 minutes after being admitted. [Keenan's father in video]
- The police said the murders were so gruesome that Reuben’s friends had to clip his stomach to keep his intestine from falling out and there was a grievous injury near his heart. [DNA Article]
- The police investigators who went to Valmiki Nagar to arrest the suspects were attacked and beaten back by the friends and relatives of the perpetrators. [Verified, lost link. will update]
- The police recovered the first knife the same day. [TOI Article]
- To track down the accused, who were all residents of Valmiki Nagar in Amboli, the DN Nagar police launched a search operation in the locality. They nabbed Rana the same night after seeing injury marks on his face. “We detained 25-30 men from the locality. Rana confessed to the crime and led us to Dulgaj, Both and Deepak,” Vijay Kumar Bhoite, the senior police inspector with DN Nagar police, said. [Mumbai Mirror]
- Eyewitnesses had said that a dozen men had attacked Keenan and his friends. However, the police, after verifying the facts, have concluded that only the arrested four were involved in the brawl. [TOI article]
- A day later, Deepak Pisawl was arrested based on location provided by Rana [Indian Express]
- Reuben was in ICCU since the attack. He underwent three surgeries to repair damage and minimize internal bleeding. However, he finally died on the 31st of October 2011
- Two nights before he died, some policemen sneaked their way into the ICCU at 1:30am where Reuben was admitted and attempted to interrogate him. Benji only saw them when they were coming out through the ICCU [via DM on Twitter]. They woke Reuben up and he was agitated for the rest of the night and anxious about Keenan (whose death he hadn’t been informed about). [Update and documentby his brother Benjamin on the group page and some Private Messages I can't disclose and now in DNA Article] His health took a turn for the worse and he had to undergo another emergency surgery when the bleeding started again. He died a day later.
- The hospital has been accused of negligence by family and friends for allowing policemen to enter an ICCU and harass a patient without any authorization. Also, for not having facilities available on the next day because it was a Sunday even though a patient was in a critical condition. The hospital disputes this [DNA Article] However, at least the public updates from the blood donation requests from that time, clearly speak of practical problems created by policy even for critical patients and the day after the police harassment when Reuben had to have emergency surgery the blood bank was closed.
- The funeral of Reuben Fernandes took place on the 1st November 2011
- Statements of nine prime witnesses, including the friends of Santos and Reuben who had accompanied them, the coconut water vendor, paan shop owner, and the waiters of the Amboli Bar and Kitchen recorded by the cops. [Mid DAY]
- Satish Durgas, has been booked under charges of attempted murder. [Mid DAY]
- The other 17 accused, who had added muscle to Rana’s side, have been arrested for rioting. They will also be presented before the court today.[Mid DAY]
- With the 14-day mandatory period of police custody over, they are scheduled to be produced before court today. Cops, however, will request the permission to keep them in their custody for another 14 days, so they can develop strong cases against them. [Mid DAY]
- The four men, who allegedly killed two Amboli residents when they objected the eve-teasing of their female friends, have admitted to the crime but showed no remorse when they were brought to court on Thursday. [DNA Article]
- In other news, two strange articles misstating facts and fabricating information appeared in the Afternoon Dispatch & Courier yesterday. The main focus seemed to be to create confusion over proceedings and the role played by the MLA. The family has called their quotes in it a flat out lie. I have written a rebuttal (it is more like debunking, actually). Jaymin Panchal also challenged the facts stated in the Afternoon D&C article on his blog, based on the coverage seen on Times Now [above].
- Still, copies of the newspaper were distributed by supporters of the MLA among mourners outside the church on the day *after* the funeral. Obviously an attempt to change public opinion by the MLA. This has been misreported in the DNA as during the funeral – the articles cover the funeral, couldn’t have possibly distributed them before writing.
- The family has rejected categorically the claims in the Afternoon Dispatch and Courier by the MLA that he had single handedly supported the victims families or had paid hospitable bills.
- In still other news, Afternoon D&C threatened @Jemin_p over his article.
- Today, the custody of the perpetrators ended, and the police presented them before a magistrate. They intended to establish the seriousness of the crime and ask for an additional 14 days of custody to make a “watertight case”. However, only one additional day of custody was allowed. This provides less time to the cops to make a foolproof case. [Times Now Video] I think this may not be such a bad thing in a country where cops routinely lose momentum on things, but that is my opinion. That the crime was done is fairly evident. And the cops have later stated that they have a waterproof case.
- “We want the case to be watertight. We have recovered the weapons. However, we want further custody because we have to record the statements of three more witnesses. There are nine witnesses in the case, including the injured friends, the three girls who were with them, the coconut vendor, a paan shop owner and the waiters of the restaurant where the attack took place,” said an officer from DN Nagar police station. “We also have to get the details of the previous case against Dugraj,” the officer added. [Indian Express]
- The police claimed to have recovered the second knife used in the crime and that the four accused had confessed. [TOI Article]
- Jitendra Rana, Sunil Bodh, Satish Dulhaj and Dipak Tival, arrested under IPC sections 302 (murder), 324 (causing hurt by dangerous weapons) and 434 (mischief), were produced at the court around 3.30 pm. [TOI Article]
- Nearly 50 of their friends and f amily m e m b e r s had arrived at the court in the morning to witness the proceedings. From the deceased’s side, a neighbour of Fernandez , incidentally an advocate, was present … Fernandez’s neighbour Harish Shetty told TOI: “The police should file a chargesheet in the case within 90 days.” [TOI Article]
- The court also sent 17 people, who had a scuffle with the police when they went to arrest the accused and so were charged with rioting, to judicial custody till November 17. Their bail will be heard on November 9. [TOI Article]
- The Times Now video shows the faces of the accused [Times Now Video] Many supporters were asking for this, and are glad that this happened. Others are concerned that showing the faces may become a factor in identifying the thugs. As in, the defense arguing that the faces were known more from news coverage than from being there.
- Speaking with Mid Day, its general manager Naveed Bhaiji shared his commiserations for the family, and confirmed that no CCTV footage of the horrifying incident had been recorded, owing to software problems. [NDTV Article]
- The Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate’s court today extended the remand of four persons arrested for the murder of two youths, Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez, to judicial custody till November 18. [NetIndian]
- Top cop Nagre Patil says that Ujjwal Nikam may be Special Public Prosecutor
Jitendra Rana (25)
Lives in Anand Nagar, Jogeshewari (West), along with his parents and uncle’s family. Is a barber at a salon in Lokhandwala. An aunt lives in Valmiki Nagar, Andheri (West), who he visited often. Became friends with the three other murder accused in the locality
Satish Dulhaj (35)
Lives in Valmiki Nagar, Andheri (West), along with his wife, three children, mother and a brother. Is a sweeper in a housing society in Andheri (West). Led the group that attacked Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez. Last year, the police had booked him in an attempt-to-murder case
Sunil Bodh (20)
Lives in Valmiki Nagar, Andheri (West), along with his wife, parents, two bothers and a sister. Works as a sweeper at Kenwood Building, Lokhandwala Complex
Deepak Tival (18)
Lives in Valmiki Nagar, Andheri (West), along with his parents, two sisters and a younger brother. Assists his parents in their work as sweepers in housing societies in Andheri (West)
Some other discrepancies remain. For example, the differing accounts of the incident by the four accused and the victims – were the original people with Rana different from these or are they deliberately telling a different story?
With the faces of the suspects being shown on national Television, What impact will it have on the case in terms of the credibility of the identification parade?
What about the cops who may have put Reuben’s life in danger and contributed to his death?
The information about the MLA sponsoring a lawyer for the murderer is unconfirmed. The Afternoon spent an entire essay over his innocence and has quoted him saying that it was a conspiracy against him *sigh* what was the need at all? Howevever, this info makes it very important to verify independently
Another thought that comes to mind is that even if the other three accomplices of Rana claim that they did not stop to find full facts before backing him up, stabbing someone doesn’t become excusable.
A new post has been created with Developments in the Keenan and Reuben case