A Pune teenager’s death last Friday has set Pune on the boil. Savan Rathod, 17, died last week but the main points trickling out now when the boy’s last words were recorded on video indicate that he was burnt when he admitted to being ‘Hindu’.
“I was working with my family in Pandhapur. I had a dispute with them and came to Pune searching for work…While i was taking a leak, 3 persons objected and asked me my name. I said Savan Rathod. They asked me, are you Hindu?. I said, yes. Then they poured something over me from a can and set me on fire,” is what Savan said before he succumbed to burn injuries, To a Newspaper.
The 17-year-old Savan’ father has alleged that his son was burnt alive when he said he was Hindu.
A local court has extended police custody of the three suspects –Ibrahim sheik and Imran and Zuber Tamboli, – till 25 Jan.
According to the FIR, Savan was set on fire with petrol by suspects in Kasba Peth on 13 Jan.
Advocate Ramesh Rathod of Banjara Kranti dal admits to have recorded the video. “When we visited the hospital on Thursday evening… Savan’s situation was bad. Therefore we asked police to record his statement before he dies. However the police refused, saying he himself was the complainant. Therefore I recorded his dying declaration on my mobile phone in the presence of his father and different activists. He didn’t mention anything regarding theft. Maybe, police worry that revealing the facts would create communal tensions.