A day after a 26-year-old dancer collapsed and died at a Borivali bar, Mumbai Police Crime Branch has initiated an inquiry into the case.
Shabnam Khan collapsed inside Ellora Bar while it was being raided by the Social Service Branch around 8.45 pm Saturday. She was pronounced dead by a local doctor and the body was taken to Bhagwati Hospital. It was later sent to J J Hospital for post-mortem.
Kasturba Marg police filed an Accidental Death Report and conducted a preliminary probe. While the cause of death is yet to be ascertained, officers claim she had low blood pressure.
Meanwhile, the bar owner, Varun Agarwal, has written to Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh alleging that police manhandled his staff. “She collapsed during the raid. I suspect she was attacked,” said Agarwal.
Inspector Sudhir Sankhe said two officers and four constables (two men and two women) had gone to Ellora Bar near Borivali (East) railway station for a routine check. They were checking documents of the bar when Khan collapsed, police claim.
“The 23 women who work at the bar were standing in a corner during the raid when one of them collapsed,” said Sankhe. Sankhe said some waiters helped the police personnel take her outside the bar. The waiters then allegedly fled.
“We asked for CCTV footage. The bar owner told us they did not have it. We are trying to retrieve it,” said Sankhe. “The bar owner does not have a licence and apparently tried to delete CCTV footage. The post-mortem report is awaited,” he added.
Sankhe said 22 women who work at the bar and 21 customers who were present at the time of the incident have told police that the woman collapsed.
Khan hailed from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and lived in Mira Road area. She was a divorcee and is survived by a 10-year-old son and three siblings. Khan had been working at Ellora Bar for the past four years. Khan’s family has not registered a police complaint.
“A DCP level inquiry will be conducted,” said JCP (Crime Branch) Himanshu Roy.