'Cops Not Filing FIR', Darshan's Father Writes To CM; Mumbai Police Denies Claim

He demanded appropriate action be taken against officers “who are trying to manipulate the process” in this matter.

3 min read
Hindi Female

“We are apprehensive that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is attempting to sideline and divert the investigation from the angle of caste discrimination faced by Darshan, which has been reported by multiple persons and is part of my complaint,” Ramesh Solanki wrote in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday, 29 March.

Ramesh is the father of 18-year-old Darshan Solanki, who died by suicide at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay on 12 February. His family, which belongs to the Dalit community, has alleged that Darshan faced caste discrimination on campus, while IIT-Bombay has consistently refuted these claims.

The deceased's father has demanded that appropriate action be taken against (Mumbai police) officers “who are trying to manipulate the process” in this matter.

In his letter to the chief minister, Darshan’s father has asserted that the officers of the Mumbai Police “refused to entertain our request for registration of FIR.”

Meanwhile, a senior police officer of the Mumbai Police told The Quint that Ramesh was supposed to file the FIR on 26 March, "but he could not make it for reasons best known to him."


Request To File FIR Met With Refusal Each Time: Darshan's Father

Ramesh alleged that when his family deposed before the SIT on 16 March, they were shown what looked like an exam question paper with a few words written on its backside, and asked to identify the handwriting. Of all those present there, only Darshan’s mother said that the handwriting matched that of Darshan’s.

There is no clarity on whether the piece of paper being referred to here is the "suicide note" that the SIT has recovered during the investigation. An investigator from the SIT told The Quint that they have found a “suicide note” from Darshan’s room. In the days after his death, Mumbai Police had said that no suicide note was found.

“The SIT then proceeded to record our respective statements and took our signatures on the statements typed in Marathi, copies of which have not been provided to us,” Ramesh claimed. He added that their requests to file an FIR in the matter were met with refusal from the police each time.

Nearly two weeks later, on 27 March, Darshan’s family was called to Mumbai from Gujarat's Ahmedabad by the SIT, and his mother was asked to register the FIR instead, Ramesh claimed in the letter.

ACP Bhosle then approached us at 2.30 pm with a pre-typed copy of the contents of the FIR, without our inputs or speaking to us. When the FIR was read to us, it consisted of facts that were not mentioned by us in our complaint or statement and were purportedly part of the investigation so far conducted by the SIT.
Ramesh Solanki, Father of Darshan Solanki

Mumbai Police Deny Allegations

Ramesh said that he objected to the content of the FIR, as it was not based on their complaint, which had highlighted “incidents of caste discrimination faced by our son.” However, he alleged that the police “continued to coerce and intimidate us into filing the FIR based on their words.”

“The allegations are not true to the best of my knowledge,” a senior police officer and a member of the SIT probing Darshan’s death told The Quint.

The senior police officer also claimed, “On 26 March, we had a friendly discussion with the deceased's family, with good intentions. Ramesh was supposed to register the FIR but he could not make it for reasons best known to him. This is why the FIR has not been filed yet,” he added.

The officer corroborated Ramesh’s claim that a paper with a handwritten note was found. “No one had recognised the handwriting on the note except for Darshan’s mother, so we thought it was better that she be the complainant,” he stated.

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