Already traumatised after the deaths of his wife and young daughter, who were swept away by rainwater in Shindewadi, Sachin Wadekar had to deal with another agonising blow on Tuesday.
Chaturshrungi police arrested him for allegedly beating up a law student and locked him up for the entire night, before releasing him on bail the next day. According to Wadekar, the action taken against him by the police was unwarranted, as his only crime was that he protested against a top cop’s son who rammed his four-wheeler into Wadekar’s two-wheeler.
Describing the sequence of events, Wadekar said that on October 15, he had parked his two-wheeler outside a hotel in Parihar Chowk, Aundh when a car banged his stationary vehicle. “When I asked a car owner about it, he started verbally abusing me and threatened me, claiming that he is the son of a top cop based in Rajasthan. He later made a phone call and his companions reached the spot.
They took me to the Aundh police chowky and filed a compliant against me,” said Wadekar. Charges were pressed against another person in the case, who was later identified as Rohan Ramesh Kumbhar. The complaint was filed by Aditya Mahendra Singh Harsana (22), who claims to be the son of the Deputy Superintendent of Rajasthan’s Anti-Corruption Bureau. Aditya is studying law in one of the city’s reputed colleges.
To verify the claims, MiD DAY tried to contact the ACB office in Jaipur on their land line number (0141-2712263), but a constable who picked up the call informed that the top cop has been transferred and that he was unable to share his number.
Wadekar said, “Soon after I was brought to the police station, within a few minutes all highly ranked police officers reached the station, and instead of taking action against the car owner, they arrested me and slapped various sections, including section 141 (unlawful assembly to show criminal force) of the IPC.”
Shocked with the turn of events, Wadekar said that the manner in which entire police machinery jumped to save the car owner is surprising, and if only they had taken similar swift action against illegal encroachers in the Shindewadi hills, his wife and daughter would have been saved.
Chaturshrungi police, however, said that they were taking action based on the complaint registered by the Aditya. “The complainant was bleeding from his nose, and it was our duty to register his complaint and take action against the accused,” said NL Nam, police sub-inspector at Chaturshrungi police station.
On June 6, Wadekar’s wife Vishaka and their one-and-a-half-year-old daughter were swept away by rainwater gushing down the hillside near the new Katraj tunnel, believed to be caused due to illegal constructions.
Following the incident, the district administration belatedly removed illegal structures obstructing the natural flow of water near the tunnel, also razing several illegal structures along the highway.