Youth drowns in Bhayander creek, family alleges police harassment

MUMBAI: A Bhayander youth walked into the creek and drowned in the wee hours of Thursday, allegedly in an inebriated state. He recorded a voice message while walking, alleging harassment by cops. Vikrant Bande (21), the son of an assistant inspector from Gorai, couldn’t swim. While an accidental death case has been registered, the CID is investigating the allegations of police harassment.

Vikrant’s elder brother Rohit said a group of five to six friends were having drinks near the jetty. While a few of them including Rohit himself left, Vikrant decided to drop his friend home. At around 2.30am, Vikrant was chatting with the friend who was to move to Singapore for work. The two were chatting below his building when a police patrolling van questioned them on being out so late. Vikrant, who was reportedly drunk, got into an argument with the cops. They put him in the van and took him to the Jesal Park police chowkie. His friend was asked to follow with Vikrant’s two-wheeler.

At the police chowkie, Vikrant reportedly again got into an argument with the cops. He then called up a friend, Vaibhav Jadhav, saying he was being harassed by the cops. Even as Vaibhav reached the police chowkie, Vikrant began walking towards the creek. While walking, he recorded a voice message on his phone in which he alleged that the police threatened to book him in a false case. In the recording, Vikrant is heard crying and Vaibhav is heard pleading with him against walking into the creek.

Around 3am, Vikrant left behind his cellphone and walked into the water. Vaibhav too followed to save him and was himself rescued by a constable. Vikrant’s body was fished out by the fire brigade an hour later.
 While the family alleged the police drove him to walk into the water, police said Vikrant was too drunk and did not know what he was doing. The body has been send for autopsy.
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