2 Mumbai police stations measure crime scene with tape to register FIR

After a robbery in Ghatkopar, two local police stations -- Tilak Nagar and Pant Nagar -- bickered for 27 hours over jurisdiction, until a BMC officer was called in to measure the crime scene with a tape

This is a story that serves as a measure of just how unwilling the police can be to take responsibility and register FIRs. A hawker who was robbed by a gang of men on Vikhroli bridge on Wednesday evening, spent the next 27 hours running between two local police stations trying to get an FIR registered, while the cops from each station bickered over whose jurisdiction it was. It ultimately took a measuring tape and a BMC official to decide the matter, after which the man’s complaint was filed.

Handbag seller Yogesh Goswami was tricked into an auto and then thrashed and looted by a gang of men
Handbag seller Yogesh Goswami was tricked into an auto and then thrashed and looted by a gang of men

The hawker, Yogesh Goswami, has been selling handbags at Ghatkopar East’s MG Road for six years. He sells his wares outside a famous jewellery store there. On Wednesday, around 4 pm, Goswami was tricked into an autorickshaw by some men. He initially thought they were men of his acquaintance, but did not have the courage to yell for help after he realised they were strangers. Goswami was taken to Vikhroli bridge, where the men thrashed him and looted his gold chain and bracelet worth Rs 1.25 lakh.

“I can’t help but regret that I didn’t scream. But I fought back and defended myself at Vikhroli bridge,” Goswami said.

He then went to the Pant Nagar police station to file an FIR. As per the regulations, MG Road falls under the Tilak Nagar police station, but the footpath falls under the Pant Nagar police. The cops told him this and asked him to go to the Tilak Nagar police station. But when he went there, he was shuttled back to the first station. And this kept happening till Thursday, when the police finally approached the BMC for help.

As it turned out, the bone of contention was a non-existent footpath. The incident took place on the road so, logically, the case belonged to the Tilak Nagar station. However, the Tilak Nagar cops argued that the exact crime spot was on the footpath area — therefore, under the Pant Nagar cops. The Pant Nagar cops argued that there was no footpath there at all, and they eventually called BMC assistant engineer (road maintenance) Jadhav, and asked him to measure out the road and determine whether the crime spot was on a designated footpath area. The BMC official explained that there had never been any footpath there, so the crime had taken place on the road. And that is how, after 27 hours, the Tilak Nagar police admitted defeat and registered the case.

Row still not over
Senior inspector Shrikant Mohite of Pant Nagar police station said, “In the said area, all the buildings and shops fall under our jurisdiction, but the road falls under Tilak Nagar police station. The officials from Tilak Nagar police station argued for no reason even after we explained the jurisdiction map to them.”

After registering the FIR, senior inspector Bhagwat Sonawane of Tilak Nagar police station said, “The area where the person was standing falls under the jurisdiction of the Pant Nagar police station and not ours.”

— Inputs by Saurabh Vaktania and Tanvi Deshpande

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