A 32-year-old suspected housebreaker, who entered a tenement on Rajiv Gandhi Road, Sion in the early hours on Saturday, died hours after he was caught and beaten up by the locals. The deceased, identified as Deepak Das, was allegedly accompanied by two accomplices who managed to flee the spot in the bedlam that ensued.
Senior Police Inspector BZ Gavit from Sion police station said, “The deceased and his two companions slyly got inside a house in the chawl during dark hours of Saturday, stole some valuables and began making a furtive escape.” But that was not to be. As Das was fleeing the spot, his leg hit a house member who was sleeping on the floor.
Gavit said, “The person woke up from his sleep and started yelling at the top of his voice, raising an alarm, after which the locals in the neighbourhood got up. The housebreakers started running but Das fell down and couldn’t escape, falling in the hands of the angry residents. They caught hold of him and began pounding him.”
“One of the locals informed the police control room about the incident, and the officials there called us up in turn. A team was dispatched to the spot immediately. At the time our men reached the spot, people had not stopped thrashing Das. We then took Das to Sion Hospital for medical treatment,” said Gavit.
He added, “In the mayhem, the other two housebreakers fled with the valuables stolen from the house, which include a mobile phone and cash worth Rs 6,000,”
According to police officials, the accused could talk till the time they took him to the hospital. He told cops that he resided in Kalyan and stayed alone. He used to wash cars to earn money, and sometimes he would steal to get by.
Around 11.15 am, he was declared dead by doctors at Sion hospital.
An FIR was registered against 30 unidentified people under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. “The locals didn’t intend to kill him, they were beating him out of anger,” Gavit said.