John identifies 2 cops who beat him
PANAJI: John Augustine Fernandes, the 19-year-old who was allegedly thrashed by Calangute police personnel in a case of mistaken identity, has identified two constables attached to the station as his assaulters, police said on Friday. The constables are Pradeep Narvekar and Yeshwant Mandrekar, with the latter being the main accused, senior police sources told TOI.
John was allegedly picked up by police personnel from his house on the afternoon of February 15, taken to the station and beaten up for allegedly committing theft at a guesthouse in Calangute.
The police constables had picked him up based on CCTV footage that showed someone similar to John in height and built.
DySP Nelson Albuquerque, who recorded John’s statement on Friday, showed him about five photos to identify the police personnel involved in his thrashing, sources told TOI. John identified two, and suspected a third. Sources said the third policeman, a driver, acknowledged to the inquirers that he had dropped the personnel and the boy to the police station, but was not involved in the beating up of John.
Speaking to TOI outside the North Goa police district headquarters at Porvorim, John said he had identified two police personnel, but could not identify the third, who, during the assault, had been goading his colleagues to beat John.
Sources said John, in his statement to the police, has said he was asked to strip in front of five women who were in the police lockup, and that he was beaten up outside the women’s lockup.
John’s aunt Helen Rodrigues told TOI that the family wants to know why John was identified by the guesthouse management as the one who committed the theft. She demanded that the family be given compensation for the assault on John and the harassment to the family. She pointed out that John had been picked up from his home despite no FIR being registered in the guesthouse theft case. John was accompanied to the district headquarters by his mother, Telma, and two aunts, including Helen.
IGP Sunil Garg has said that stern action will be taken against whoever is found guilty in the case.