The steely nerve of a 37-year-old cop and the support of his colleague helped land a violent robber in Kandivli in police net in the wee hours of Thursday. Police sources said Constable Sanjay Khatate - who risked his life to ensure that the accused was arrested after he was gravely assaulted by him - would be recommended for a bravery award by his superiors for the act.
According to the police, two beat marshals Khatate and Jayesh Gharat, both members of the detection staff of Kandivli police station, were on night patrolling duty on Thursday. While doing a round on MG Road near Dhanukarwadi around 4 am, they spotted an auto rickshaw ferrying two people who were downing beer. The duo apparently seemed suspicious and the cops decided to stop them and see if everything was in order.
They signalled for the auto driver to halt. Constable Khatate got off his bike and asked the duo to step out of the auto. When he questioned them about their identity, the two looked at each other and one of them - later identified as Sachin Malhotra - took out a bottle of beer, smashed it on Khatate’s head, then stabbed him with it in his arm, all in one fell swoop, as the other made a run for it.
Despite sustaining severe injuries, Khatate grabbed Malhotra and held on to him, not letting him escape. His colleague Gharat, meanwhile, ran after the other, who was later identified as Sunil Dupte. After chasing Dupte for a small distance, Gharat realised that his colleague was in pain and needed help. He came back to a bleeding Khatate, relieved him of Malhotra, and handcuffed the accused. The two constables took him to the police station and handed him over to the cops who placed him under arrest.
Gharat then rushed Khatate to the nearby Surana hospital where he is currently recuperating. Cops later discovered that both the accused, in their late 20s, were hardened criminals, who had several cases of house break-ins and robberies booked against them. Malhotra had even been externed by the Aarey Colony police. Khatate’s gallantry earned him kudos from the police department, and officials said he would be nominated for a bravery award.