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'Harassed' man tries to kill self at Mantralaya

Before consuming sleeping pills and collapsing in the Mantralaya garden, he complained to home minister that Crime Branch officials tortured him for money

A 37-year-old man tried to commit suicide at the Mantralaya garden yesterday, right after dropping a complaint against certain Crime Branch officers at Home Minister R R Patil's office. Police officials said that the man was frustrated; he tried to end his life by consuming sleeping pills as he was unable to tolerate alleged harassment by officials from Ghatkopar Unit VII of Mumbai Crime Branch.

Fed up: Sonkamble was detained by the Unit VII crime branch officials for posing as a cop and stealing Rs 35 lakh

The Marine Drive police, who were prepping up to welcome President Pratibha Patil in the city, noticed him lying unconscious near the gate of the Mantralaya Garden in the afternoon. They immediately rushed him to G T hospital in Fort. Cops saw that he was clutching a copy of the complaint he submitted at Patil's office in his hand. 

An official from Marine Drive police station said, "The person has been identified as Vinod Sonkamble, a resident of Ghatkopar (West). The copy of his complaint stated that he was continuously harassed by the Ghatkopar Unit VII officers of the Mumbai Crime Branch."

Another official added, "Sonkamble was detained between October 11-14 by Crime Branch Unit VII officials for posing as a cop and stealing Rs 35 lakh from a businessman in Nagpada."

Sonkamble's father, Raghunath, said, "My son does not have any criminal record. The Crime Branch officials detained him for two days without any reason, and have since been harassing him constantly to try and extort money from him."

The Other Side
Deputy Commissioner of Police Nisar Tamboli said, "Sonkamble resembles the sketch of one of the two persons who posed as policemen and robbed the victim. After verifying details, we detained him in the morning and let him off in the evening."

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