Fined for littering, 2 thrash BMC marshals

The cleanliness officials were also beaten up by bystanders, who assumed that they were chain snatchers

Lack of civic sense and mob justice reared its ugly head in the city yesterday.

Three clean-up marshals affiliated to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) were mercilessly thrashed for doing their job. The victims -- Sameer Khan, Kiran Jaffer and Mohsin Khan -- had spotted two people spitting gutkha and littering the street with the wrapper near Fame cinema in Ghatkopar (East).

Beaten black and blue: Three clean-up marshals were mercilessly
assaulted by two estate agents, as they were spotted spitting gutkha
and littering near Fame cinema in Ghatkoper East.
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

When Shankar Yadav and Ganin Prajapati -- both real estate agents -- were asked to cough up a fine of Rs 400 for spitting and littering the premises, they lost their temper and started assaulting the marshals. In course of the brawl, bystanders also joined the fray, and thrashed the marshals, assuming that they were chain snatchers. 

Eyewitness Hiren Jha said, "I was standing outside Fame cinema when the incident took place. The man refused to pay the fine. He was fuming, and then started beating the marshals with his belt."

"We went up to the duo and asked them to pay a fine of Rs 400 each. They lost their cool and refused to pay the money. Soon, a fuming Yadav took off his belt and started hitting us. Prajapati also joined in, punching and kicking us. Soon bystanders intervened and tried to rescue us, but Yadav continued his violent ways," said Mohsin.

The marshals finally managed to overcome the assaulters and approached the nearest police chowky in Ghatkopar (West). The brawl resumed outside the chowky. This time, however, presumptuous members of the public joined the real estate agents to beat the marshals, assuming that they were chain snatchers. Cops were nowhere to be found in the chowky, as they were all on bandobast duty at the time.

Managing to get hold of the assaulters again, the marshals this time dragged them to the Chirag Nagar police station to register a complaint against them. No case was filed, however, as the two parties ultimately settled the matter amicably. Cops let off the accused with a stern warning.

BMC Chief Engineer of Solid Waste Management Bhalchandra Patil said, "We have outsourced the BMC clean up initiative to agencies who employ people to enforce our anti-littering norms. Generally, people who are caught spitting and littering don't get violent, and pay the fine readily. But sometimes cases of hostile behaviour are reported, like this one."

The other side
Shankar Yadav admitted,
"It's true that I littered and refused to pay the fine. The marshals started hitting us first, and we only reacted to them."

Did you know?
The BMC had launched the 'Clean Mumbai' campaign in 2007, for which 373 marshals were hired.

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