Four journalists, including mid-day correspondent Shiva Devnath, nabbed two young locals red-handed, after which they fled and returned with 12-15 accomplices to attack them with bricks and sticks
Drug addicts and junkies have become notorious for petty crimes in the Ghatkopar area. In the most recent incident, 12-15 miscreants allegedly attacked a group of four scribes, including a mid-day journalist, after they were caught robbing petrol from their bikes.
One of the journalists speaking to the police while undergoing treatment at Rajawadi Hospital
The incident took place at Shahid Smarak in Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar in Ghatkopar (East) on Saturday night, when mid-day journalist Shiva Devnath and three fellow journalists found the miscreants stealing petrol from their bikes.
The accused were arrested by the Pant Nagar police station
The journalist and his friends rang the police control room, and in the flurry, both the robbers managed to flee, one of them biting Devnath’s hand to make an escape.
One of the bikes from which petrol was being stolen
A while later, the two youths returned, accompanied by 12-15 more men, each wielding bricks and bamboo sticks. They brutally attacked the journalists, after which they had to be rushed to the civic-run Rajawadi Hospital. Besides Devnath, journalists Santosh Pandey, Pankaj Gupta and Tahir Beig were attacked.
Speaking to mid-day from the hospital, Gupta said, “We went to attend a birthday celebration in Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar. The miscreants, who were under the influence of alcohol, were stealing petrol from our bikes. We caught them, but they fled and returned in a big group. The police have registered a case against only five.”
Sources from Pant Nagar police station admitted that the junkies have been committing crimes regularly in their jurisdiction, and that they have been frequently receiving complaints of petrol robbing. “There have also been cases of bikes being set on fire by the miscreants, under the influence of drugs,” said a source from the Pant Nagar police station.
Senior Police Inspector Suresh Nirmal of Pant Nagar police station said, “We have arrested two junkies. Three others are wanted. We have intensified our operation to nab them, and will increase patrolling activities in the locality. We will take action against the other miscreants who are suspected to have played a role in the attack.”
The arrested accused have been identified as Paresh Ganguly and Shailesh Karkad alias Tipayya, both locals. They have been booked under sections 143, 323, 325, 326 and 392 of the IPC. They were produced in Holiday court and sent to police custody till May 28.
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