Nabbing robbers, rapists and their ilk may be a breeze for cops, but on Sunday, policemen attached to the Shivaji Nagar station in Ambernath had a different breed to contend with altogether. Acting on a tip-off, they brought an illegal bullock cart race to a grinding halt, though not before one of the bovine participants gave their jeep a good ramming.
Herded: Shivaji Nagar police have arrested Yogesh Patil under several sections of the IPC and the
Bombay Police Act. Pic/Navneet Barhate
Cops have arrested the owner of the bullock that attacked the vehicle. Organisers of the race have also been booked, but are absconding. According to police sources, the incident took place at Bohnoli village in Ambernath, where villagers had organised a bullock cart racing competition, in violation of the Bombay High Court order that bans all animal-racing events.
Learning of the event, Mumbai-based animal lover Anil Kataria, who is also attached with a state government animal protection body, made a phone call to the police control room in rural Thane. The control room relayed the information to the Shivaji Nagar police station, which in turn dispatched officers to the spot.
"I informed Shivaji Nagar police via the police control room, and they reached the spot to stop the race," said Kataria. "We were busy with a case of robbery, but rushed to the spot when we got the intimation," said Prashant Sande, sub-inspector, Shivaji Nagar police station.
At the racing venue, cops found that the event had attracted over 100 participants and as many as 10,000 enthusiastic viewers. They tried to interrupt the race, and it was then that one of the bullock carts butted into the side of the police jeep, damaging it.
The protective iron safe guard attached to the windscreen prevented it from sustaining serious damages, and kept the driver safe as well. Cops then registered an FIR and arrested the bullock cart owner. The accused has been identified as Yogesh Patil. They are also on the lookout for organisers Pandharinath Phadke and Gangaram Patil, both of whom are absconding. "We have arrested Yogesh Patil under several sections of the IPC and the Bombay Police Act. We are searching for two organisers, who are absconding," said Sande.