Bapu Lonkar, who was attached to the Swargate police stationon the fateful day of January 25, 2012, is the brave police constable who managed to nab Santosh Mane by stopping the bus at Nilayam Bridge near Parvati and saved his life from an agitated mob.
“I chased Mane’s bus on my motorbike. I left the two-wheeler on the road at Laxmi Narayan chowk, boarded the bus using the staircase, went to the roof, entered inside through a window, and then went into the driver’s cabin,” said Lonkar.
Mane refused to heed the instructions of the cop. “I then tried to apply the hand brakes and tried to swerve the bus by taking the steering. However, he assaulted me, but by the time I had succeeded in stopping the bus, as it dashed into some other vehicles,” said Lonkar, while recalling the horrific incident.
“I grabbed hold of him and brought him out of the bus where the angry mob assaulted him. But, I managed to save him from further street punishment.”
The constable said that when people began hitting him, Mane tried to escape from the spot, but Lonkar held on. He said that during deposition in the court, he narrated the incident and is happy that justice has been done to the nine families of the deceased, and also those injured.
“I am really pleased that Mane has been handed the death sentence. He fully deserves what he is getting,” said Lonkar, who is now posted at Shivajinagar police headquarters, and joining the force in 2010.