It was in the year 1989, it was the last day on October 5 to file nominations for the student elections that would be held three months later in Mumbai colleges. A first-year law student named Owen D’Souza, who was studying at Jitendra Chauhan (JC) College of Law at Mithibai College campus in Vile Parle, was on his way to fill his nomination form.
But he couldn’t make it. Owen was murdered brutally just outside the college. The murder was so brutal and inhuman that he got 64 stab wounds and his fingers were chopped off. His murderers have not been identified, but according to his family, he was murdered because of the political power play.
Owen was the student leader of Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) and their rivals were Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His blatant murder scared everyone, it shook the whole Maharashtra. The government then decided to finally ban campus elections in 1994. This order would be lifted 24 years later after his death. Lona Rawat, D’Souza’s sister said that,
“He [Owen] was attacked with choppers and swords and had multiple stab wounds on his body. He was killed as the result of a blow to his head.”
Lona still remembered that ill-fated day when she received a phone call from the principal of JC College following informing about her brother’s murder. She also told about the huge crowd that came to pay their respects to D’Souza at his funeral. She said,
“Owen was attached to many social causes in Jogeshwari. He would help the poor and the needy.”