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Good Samaritan alleges cops harassing his family

A Chembur resident claims that he has been paying a heavy price for having rushed a young victim of electric shock to hospital on Anant Chaturdashi last year.

Manoj Shetty
Good samaritan or vandal? Shetty was infuriated when cops went to his daughter’s school, asking to meet her, and claims that the harassment from cops is damaging his reputation

Chembur resident Manoj Shetty (43) claims that people from the boy’s chawl vandalised premises of the two hospitals where he was treated. However, Shetty claims that the police have been harassing him for a year now and investigating him in the matter, even though he has not been named in the FIR.

Shetty complained that cops have been calling him at odd hours, and often knock on his door. But he was infuriated on Wednesday afternoon when they visited his daughter’s school in Chembur, asking to speak to her.

On September 10 last year, Shetty was part of pre-immersion celebrations at Shiv Sadan Society in Chembur, of which he was then the secretary. About a dozen drummers had been called to perform at the society. One of the drummers, a 17-year-old named Amit Pokarkar, was performing when the crown from a passing idol fell on him, causing him to reach out for support towards a bamboo, and his hands fell on electric lights that had been strung on the pole. Pokarkar received an electric shock and fell unconscious.

Shetty and other members of the society rushed him to Sai Hospital next door. Since his condition was serious, members of the society were advised to take him to another hospital for treatment. Shetty claims that a mob of 50-70 people from the boy’s chawl then vandalised the property at Sai Hospital.

Pokarkar was rushed to Inlaks Hospital, where he died, prompting the mob to vandalise this hospital’s premises as well.

The mob also vandalised three vehicles in the society, one of them being Shetty’s car. “If I was part of the mob, why would I break my own car?” asked Shetty.

Shetty alleged that the behaviour of the police has been causing him mental distress for a year now. Fed up with the harassment, Shetty claims he has been forced to sell his earlier accommodation.

“On Wednesday afternoon, they crossed all their limits. A team of policemen visited the supervisor at the school saying that a court order had been issued against me and they wanted to verify the address with my daughter,” said Shetty. “The police are trying to spoil my reputation by visiting my daughter’s school. Why do they have to go to my daughter’s school and meet her?”

Shetty claims that the police are now even bothering the family which bought his earlier flat.

“The police had come to our place on Monday asking for Shetty’s present address,” said Prakash Rajpal (50), new occupant of the flat where the Shettys used to reside earlier. he added, “My mom opened the door. She told them that they should enquire at the society’s office.”

The supervisor of Shetty’s daughter’s school said, “The police team was asking for Shetty’s daughter. We did not allow them to meet her. They were asking for her residence address. That’s all I can say.”

The other side
Asked why he and his colleagues have been chasing a man against whom no FIR has yet been issued, Bhimdev Rathod, senior police inspector of Chembur police station, said, “As investigations continued, the eyewitnesses confirmed that Shetty was involved in the vandalism at Inlaks hospital. We are trying to trace Shetty since we do not know where his current residence is.”

Denying the school supervisor’s statement that the cops had demanded to meet Shetty’s daughter, Rathod said, “A team had visited Shetty’s daughter’s school since we got the information that his wife works there. We did not even know that his daughter studies there. It is our job as policemen to investigate. Let the court decide whether he is guilty or not.” 

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