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23

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.

Why are people supposed to take care of the well being of citizens preventing threats against them from coming to any harm? In other words, supporting people who killed openly on the street?
  • Amboli double murder case , watch what police are doing. Have they arrested who attacked police ? Who's protecting murderers ?
    November 1, 2011 7:04:04 AM EDT
  • 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.

8

This post continues from where the earlier one about the Facts of the Keenan and Reuben Case ended. That one was getting too long, and new information was coming in. This is fairly comprehensive - I think.

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.

November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  • 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.
  • It was Solanki who landed the slap on main accused Jitendra Rana on the ill-fated night.
    November 10, 2011 2:43:08 PM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  • This is why initial case was murder only, and other charges are now added.
  • However, Priyanka and Shaikh's statements clearly stated that the brawl was a result of eve-teasing, the police said.
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • The police have now slapped Sections 509 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code — the former deals with word or gesture intended to outrage the modesty of a woman, while the latter deals with criminal intimidation.
    November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  • Vijay Bhoite, senior inspector, DN Nagar police station said, "The identification parade was the most important part of the entire case. However, our case has been hampered since the main accused, Jitendra Rana's, photo has been made public by the media."
    November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  • 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 investigating officer has been changed in the case.
    November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  • The following news is seriously good. Evidence trumps confessions/statements any day.
  • The police have also sent the clothes of the accused and the deceased, apart from the arms used in the murder, to the state forensic laboratory for scientific investigation.
    November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  • They have to go ahead with the identification parade anyway.
  • The D N Nagar police on Tuesday wrote a letter to the court seeking permission to conduct an identification parade in prison of the four men arrested for the Amboli double murder.
    November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • 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?
    November 10, 2011 2:43:08 PM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • 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."
    November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  • It will be a stroke of luck if they agree, seeing as how it would pretty much be the nail on their coffin.
  • While there were reports that Jitendra Rana, the main accused in the Amboli double murder, was a history sheeter, a senior police officer said this was not the case. D N Nagar senior police inspector Vijay Kumar Bhoite said, "Rana does not have any past criminal record."
    November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  • 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.
    Main accused in Amboli murders is a b...
    November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  • 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.
  • Bagdi blamed the banner makers for a recent Diwali banner of the Swabhimaan Sanghatana that included a picture of Rana. "Since those involved in making the banner were not aware of Rana's resignation, his picture was displayed," Bagdi said.
    November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  • 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.
    Main accused in Amboli murders is a b...
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • Senior inspector Bhoite said, "According to our inquiry, Jitendra Rana is not a part of Swabhimaan Sanghatana." A DN Nagar police official said, "Rana was arrested from Valmiki Nagar."
    November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  • 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.”
    Main accused in Amboli murders is a b...
    November 11, 2011 10:34:06 AM EST
  • 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).
    November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  • 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."
    November 10, 2011 2:42:25 PM EST
  • 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.
    Main accused in Amboli murders is a b...
    November 10, 2011 2:49:41 PM EST
  • 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.
  • Patil added that although the case is under investigation, the state government is working towards strengthening sections 354 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with acts of sexual harassment. "We have put our request to the central government, but we are yet to hear from them," he said.
    November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  • 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 police are in talks with special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam for fighting the case.
    November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 2:45:57 PM EST
  • Advocate Ujjwal Nikam has denied reports that he has been officially appointed as the special public prosecutor in the Amboli double murder case.“I have read about it in the newspapers,” Nikam told Hindustan Times. “But, so far I have received no word from the state government.”
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • 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.”
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • Reuben's family: 'Want all medical reports'
    November 8, 2011 6:30:28 AM EST
  • 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.
  • And what of the 17 who are in custody? “Over the next few days, we’ll figure out how to get them out,” another resident said. “But we will not raise our voice for the four main accused. What they have done is unforgivable.”
    Main accused in Amboli murders is a b...
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • Caught on the sidelines of the Amboli double murder , the families of 17 men arrested in a separate rioting case insist on their innocence. The 17 allegedly rioted when the police went to arrest the four murder accused on October 21, a day after the killing.
    November 10, 2011 2:50:01 PM EST
  • 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.”
    Main accused in Amboli murders is a b...
    November 10, 2011 6:14:19 AM EST
  • "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.
    November 11, 2011 10:34:06 AM EST
  • 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.
    November 10, 2011 5:13:36 AM EST
  • 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.
  • Additional commissioner of police (western suburbs) Vishwas Nagre Patil however said the mob had obstructed the police from arresting the four murder accused. "They heatedly argued and scuffled with the police , which is why they were picked up," he said.
    November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  • 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.

Two articles today in the Afternoon Dispatch and Courier …. with two articles, one would think that there is some demanding of answers happening. Apparently not.

I suggest you read the story of the murders of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes as we know it first before this garbage confuses you.

Quoting from the first one:

On the day of the incident, Sentos and Fernandez along with five others, including three women, went to the bar to enjoy dinner while watching a cricket match on a giant screen. After a while, they came out of the restaurant and were standing near a paan shop. “One Jitendra Rana (25), who is a barber by profession and hails from Haryana, had reached the shop and asked Sentos to move aside. As Sentos refused to budge, a heated argument took place. Rana was accompanied by Sunil Bote (20) and Satish Dulgaj (35), who attacked the group with choppers.

Where are the 13 rent-a-goons that no one wants to talk about. The altercation is also now a result of hot tempers both ways rather than Rana attempting to molest a woman. So now, it seems Rana didn’t go for back up, 13 goons with sharp weapons didn’t arrive quickly, etc. Nice. Real smooth. AND FYI, the subject of your story is Santos, not Sentos.

…Kenin Sentos was killed and his friend Ruben Fernandez was injured after they were attacked by three persons following a fight outside Amboli Bar and Restaurant…

and

Following the incident, police searched the area for the accused, who were later traced. The three, who confessed to the crime, were subsequently arrested,” police said.

Very informative, except that it is FOUR. So which one is being set up to be overlooked apart from the 13 odd rent-a-goons?

Except that his colleague Kunal Chonkar did a different cover up. So he mentions in his article as:

…a drunken man deliberately dashed against the girls in their group, was roughly shoved off with a slap, and then returned with a gang armed with sickles, choppers, knives and staves from the neighbouring Valmiki Nagar.

That’s an ouch. This article takes care of the inconvenient questions around the MLA though. It describes how said MLA was present for the funeral from beginning to end, etc

There was a strong police presence on the spot as well, and local MLA Ashok Bhau Jadhav, (INC) who has been helping the family with police and hospital processes, was there as well, from the beginning to the end.

It has a section titled “Family commend Jadhav’s help” too (with more words than main story). If you remember, said Jadhav happens to be local MLA Ashok Bhau Jadhav, (INC) who has been the target of a lot of anger in those following this news for sponsoring the lawyer for the killers of the person whose funeral is being spoken about. This information has come directly from the family and friends of Reuben Fernandes, so it is highly unlikely that any of them were feeling particularly grateful – even if the information on the lawyers was wrong and they had been misled.

The article goes on to say:

Meanwhile, the worst kind of politics has entered the scenario, with the Congress MLA as the target. Several texts, mails and blogs have been circulated within social media circles, several of them having formed groups in support of Reuben and Keenan, quoting unknown sources accusing Ashok Jadhav of helping the accused as well, by providing legal help and financial assistance.

Hmm… so we are playing politics now. That doesn’t wash on this blog – zero affiliation. I suppose the lawyer news could be a plant. This should be verified by media if it is indeed true or false.

However, yesterday the Fernandes family came out and set the record straight. They defended Jadhav.saying, “Since the day of the incident, hehas been helping us. He also assisted during the recovery of the body from hospital and with the police This weas stated by Ronny Fernandes himself, standing beside Jadhav at the funeral.

Benjamin Fernandes made a post on the group for Keenan Santos categorically denying that this was said at all or that any family member spoke with the MLA (Ronny is Benjamin and Reuben’s father). Additionally, hereare the comments from friends and family. Read.

Speaking to ADC, Jadhav said, “I came to know about these texts and blogs through my daughter who also received one such text. I have filed a written complaint with the Bandra-Kurla Complex Cyber Crime cell about these messages accusing me. Instead of asking me whether I am helping the Fernandes family, the media must ask the family themselves for the truth.”

How neatly you sidestep the question, dear MLA. The question never was whether you are helping the Fernandes family – it was well publicized that you and an entire parade of politicians went and met them to offer help – which in itself is strange, seeing as how regular murders don’t get this kind of attention. The question was why was help offered to criminals – as quoted in the previous paragraph of same article. I notice (and I read the article several times) that this information about the lawyer, has been attributed to a political conspiracy, but never denied.

So what is really happening here?

Interestingly, a source from the station said that two of the accused belong to a political party and that their pictures had “graced” a Diwali hoarding near Amboli Naka. When this reporter went to have a look, however, he discovered that both hoardings had been hurriedly taken down. Some of Jadhav’s men had managed to grab an image on mobile phones and were keeping them for further action.

Sounds like the thugs didn’t belong to the Congress. Then, if the rumor was false, why not deny it flat out like “I am not paying for the lawyers of those criminals” and finish all doubt? Just asking. Besides, such a falsified PR article focusing on the MLA would be bizarre if there was no need.

Or is it about winning the vote bank over from another party by saving the criminals? Would that explain thesudden profusion of politicians in that area?

Whatever THAT was about, this burst of eloquence based on fiction being sold as news, definitely makes the whole thing look more shady.

If indeed this is not a deliberate cover up by the Afternoon Dispatch and Courier, then it is even more concerning how any news can be fed to a journalist to be printed in a newspaper.

Update: Since then, family and friends of Keenan and Reuben have appeared on Times Now with Arnab Goswami and thoroughly trashed these claims including claims of paying hospital bills on National TV.

28


Funeral of Reuben Fernandez is at St. Blaise Church, Amboli on 1st November 2011 at 4:00pm

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’.

298

The Murder of Keenan Santos

For those with our typical ADHD attention spans, here's what happened. On 23rd October 2011, group of cricket fans came together to enjoy a match on a big screen, have dinner at Amboli Kitchen and Bar, eat pan and have fun. What followed didn't quite work out that way.

Dinner done, as they were at the paan shop, a drunk man stumbled against one of the girls. Thinking that this is your average garden variety drunk, one of the men in the group, Avinash Bali, slapped him. Got into a verbal spat, another friend, Reuben Fernandes, hit him too. However, this was no garden variety drunk lecher (which are kind of common on streets). This man had two murder cases pending against him, and he was a barber and roaming around scot free.

He was accompanied by a few other men. Angry and wanting revenge, he swore he'd be back, and the group dismissed him. Shaken over what happened, but not expecting trouble, they continued to stand there. Meanwhile, said man returned with a group of people in three rickshaws - thirteen, many said - and his original companions. They were armed with swords and knives. Keenan and Reuben tried to reason with them while the others got the girls out of the way to safety. Keenan Santos was stabbed viciously, and his intestines spilled out. As Bejnamin tried to get the girls into the restaurant, some of the thugs followed them. Reuben Fernandes got in their way and was viciously stabbed too. As onlookers watched in shock, Avinash Bali hurled a nearby ladder at them and pulled Keenan and Reuben into the restaurant. The thugs did not follow them into the restaurant, and left.

Still without assistance, Avinash and Benjamin struggled to get Keenan and Reuben to the hospital on time. Many excuses were heard in the media, but the bottom line is, onlookers DID NOT HELP. Keenan's girlfriend informed his parents, who arrived just in time to watch him die 20 minutes after being admitted. A week later, Reuben is still fighting for life. One life lost, one life hanging on by a thread. Because a crazy drunk didn't see anything wrong in molesting a woman or to attack her friends for defending her. The first thought that came to my mind was if I would ever want my friends to come to my rescue if it would mean them paying with their lives. Then I wondered, what kind of a world would it be, if we can't count on each other to help...

The Arrests of Rana & Co

In other news, the police investigated, etc and arrested four people - Rana, and the three others who were with him. Despite witness statements and CCTV footage, it seems the thirteen odd goons who landed up with swords and knives did not exist. Rana & Co were cocksure on arrest and confident that they would be out within months and said so openly.

The murder weapon was found at Rana's home in Valmiki Nagar in the presence of two witnesses whose statements are on record, the friends witnessed Rana stabbing him, Rana's own companions say Rana stabbed Keenan. Rana says he didn't do it. He says it was someone else. These are the messages coming in through chatter from those doing the rounds of police stations.

And of course, everyone has forgotten about the thriteen odd rent-a-goons complete with professional equipment that landed up within 10 minutes of Rana's threat of returning. Who were they? Why did they never come into the picture with the cops in spite of the presence of video footage?

Politicians getting involved

In still other news, politicians were quick to step into the limelight. They visited Keenan's and Reuben's families, made appropriate noises, and then - pay attention - visited Valmiki Nagar to assure that the killers families that they would get justice. Ashok Bhau Jadhav Congress MLA from Andheri W is said to be sponsoring the killers lawyers.

One would think that with the assailants being migrants, MNS would at least condemn them, but apparently not. An article in DNA quotes Jassi Singh, a local from Valimiki Nagar “So far, political activists and leaders from Congress, Shiv Sena and MNS have visited our area”.

Reuben Fernandes

Reuben, in the meanwhile has been struggling to recover. He is still in the ICCU and has undergone surgery to repair damage and minimize internal bleeding. Sedated, high on pain killers, he drifts in and out of consciousness, barely getting a grip on all the chaos that has unfolded. He did not know about Keenan's death until last night. Here is what happened.

Last night, policemen forced their way into - pay attention - the ICCU to interrogate Reuben. Drifting in and out of consciousness, still in critical condition, weak... he overheard something of Keenan's death from them. He was agitated all night and concerned about Keenan and his internal bleeding resumed, and as I write this post, he has been taken to emergency surgery again in a bid to save his life.

A call has gone out requesting for blood type O+ for him tomorrow.

An important question to ask here is what did the cops hope to hear from him that they forced their way into an ICCU? Did they have a warrant? What authority did they have to do this at all?

Update:

Reuben passes away

Reuben passed away on the 31st October after battling for life for a week.

Questions remain

Why are politicians so concerned about these killers? The answer is in upcoming elections. Valmiki Nagar is a vote bank. The goons rule it. The assumption is that favors done to them will reap political profit. And it can't even actually be any favor to the people of the area, because with these goons having such violent power, they can't be safe either. Who stands to profit then?

Why did the cops not arrest the other goons who arrived later for the sole purpose of attack? It can't be that impossible to find them - they came in rickshaws!

Why was a man with two murder cases against him not only roaming free and killing one more man (possibly two) but also confident that he would be out free in a few months? Why was an MP rushing to provide him with a lawyer within a day?

Why did no one among the bystanders come to the aid of the victims? Can understand shock and fear during the fight, but why not help get them to hospital?

What options do we have, as citizens to create reasonable safety for us?

Most importantly, what do you do if you get molested, or see someone getting molested by a random person on the street?