It was as if marshal law was in effect near Santacruz railway station. Jaichand, Dharamveer and Satveer Nishad, who are related, and are carpenters by profession, were walking past the area, when Dharamveer felt a foreign object in his mouth and decided to spit it out. Even before he could wipe his mouth, three persons -- claiming to be clean-up marshals -- appeared on the scene, and allegedly started hitting the Nishads for spewing tobacco.
“I have never tasted tobacco in my life, so how could I spit it? These three so-called clean-up marshals came there and, without any warning, started hitting us,” said Dharamveer. “The marshals asked us to pay a fine for the offence. We three refused to comply on the grounds that it was not tobacco spit,” said Satveer.
A huge mob gathered on the scene, and the situation began to turn ugly gradually. In the course of the brawl, Satveer suffered a serious injury to his right eye.
After this, the ‘marshals’ escaped from the spot. Meanwhile, another person, who was passing by, also got involved in the fight. Roshan Shelar, who claims to be a BEST conductor, said, “I was returning from work, and my wife was with me, when the fight was in progress.
These people (the Nishads) touched her inappropriately, so I, too, hit them for the same.”
On the other hand, the Nishads said, “Shelar was also there when the clean-up marshals were hitting us, but his wife was nowhere on the scene.”
Some bystanders told MiD DAY that these ‘clean-up marshals’ harass people every morning. “They did not have any uniform; only one of them had an identity card stating that he was a member of the BMC clean-up drive,” said one. Many incidents have been reported in the past of these marshals harassing people.
Sub-inspector Sunil Mane of Vakola police station said, “We are taking statements from all the people, after which an FIR will be registered. Allegations are being made various parties. A hunt is on for the three marshals, who are still at large.”