It’s been more than three days since her son was killed after allegedly being brutally assaulted and electrocuted for nearly 10 hours by a Bengaluru-based businessman and his three associates. Now, the victim’s mother has come out with a strong allegation that the prime accused Vasudeva Reddy offered her a bribe of Rs 5 lakh to not file a complaint with the police.
Twenty-three-year-old Basheerul, a ragpicker and two of his friends – Ajmal Sheikh and Hafeezullah were allegedly tortured by their landlord, a Bengaluru-based businessman on Monday on suspicion that the trio had stolen a motor pump and electric wires from a plot in Munnekolala near Varthur.
Basheerul was allegedly electrocuted and his face drowned in water multiple times, while the landlord, Vasudeva Reddy and his associates tried to extract a confession from him.
While Basheerul succumbed to the torture on Monday night, Ajmal and Hafeezullah were allegedly beaten black and blue and are presently undergoing treatment at a local government hospital.
Following his death, Basheerul's mother alleges that the attackers offered her a bribe of Rs 5 lakh to not file a complaint with the police. “They made me watch my son being tortured. After he (Vasudeva Reddy) killed my son, he came to me and offered me money. He said that all my problems would be solved if I took the Rs 5 lakh from him. He told me that since Basheer is dead there is no way I could fend for myself and my daughter-in-law and grandson. I refused and he went away. He did not feel any remorse at all. I want my justice for my son, not his killer’s money. I now have to go back home with his body. My grandson will never have a father now,” Basheer’s mother Tameemur Sheikh alleges, as she wept.
While the police arrested Vasudeva Reddy on Wednesday after he absconded, his three associates are yet to be nabbed.
The victims, who hail from West Bengal, were living in a makeshift colony of around 1,000 residents on a plot owned by Vasudeva Reddy, for about two-and-a-half months.
According to Basheerul’s neighbours, Reddy and his associates entered the colony on Monday morning, and picked up the trio from their makeshift houses and dragged them to a godown a few yards away.
“A few people who were outside saw them being dragged away. I was inside my home when I heard screams. I rushed outside and that’s when the others told me that they had dragged the three of them to the godown. We went to help them but two of the attackers began throwing stones at us. One of our residents was also injured,” Basheerul’s neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, told TNM.
Ajmal Sheikh, one of the victims who is in the hospital told the Marathahalli Police that the gang of four men began beating them with plastic pipes and also electrocuted them, while asking about a motor and some wires.
“I did not know what was going on and what these wires were about. It took me a while to understand that they suspected us of stealing these items. They started beating us and did not stop. We begged them to stop and said that we were innocent repeatedly but they did not stop. They kept saying ‘confess, confess’. When we did not, they took us to a water tank which was outside the godown, drowned us in it and administered electric shocks. This went on for so many hours,” Ajmal Sheikh told TNM.
The other colony residents also corroborated Ajmal’s claims. Ajmal said that Basheerul stopped struggling at some point while being electrocuted.
“He just collapsed. We thought he had lost consciousness. After Basheer stopped moving, the four men called a doctor who told us that Basheer had died. Our landlord, who was one of the attackers, got really tensed. He told the others to leave us and they rushed out,” Ajmal added.
The colony residents then helped Ajmal and Hafeezullah out of the godown. The residents then called a member of the NGO Movement for Justice and informed them about the brutal attack.
The NGO then intimated the police, who registered a case of murder and attempted murder against the four men.
After witnessing the horrifying incident, most of the colony residents packed up and left the area by Tuesday afternoon, while a few others, who remained are still in the process of moving.