Space crunch issues in the city reached an all-new low, with a 50-year-old man getting beaten up and kidnapped for asking the driver of an SUV to move his car ahead, so pedestrians had space to walk.
The incident took place on Friday afternoon, when the victim objected to the driver, Thakur, parking his vehicle at this spot in Sion. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The victim, Subramaniam alias Junni Merala, a resident of Jogvekar Nagar in Sion, is currently recuperating at Sion Hospital after going through a horrifying ordeal, in which he was assaulted, kidnapped and thrown out on the road an hour later. The Sion police have arrested the kidnapper, Rajendra Thakur (32), who works as a driver with a Navi Mumbai-based doctor.
Merala is in the ICU at Sion Hospital
The incident took place on Friday afternoon outside Omkar Esquare building on the Eastern Express Highway near the Sion flyover, when Merala objected to Thakur parking his vehicle in a manner that obstructed the way for pedestrians. This irked Thakur, who had gone there to visit a friend who lives in the same locality.
“As Thakur parked his car, Merala asked him to park it ahead. The two then started arguing, which ended up with Thakur and his friend assaulting Merala brutally. This was not enough; the duo kidnapped Merala and drove him around the city for nearly an hour. The victim was thrown out at Kala Nagar junction in Bandra,” said an officer from Sion police station.
Merala, who was severely injured, got himself admitted to Bhabha Hospital with the help of locals. “Merala’s family members were very tensed, as they could not locate him for an entire day. Finally, after the police intervened in the matter at Bhabha Hospital, the family came to know about the incident,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, Merala is in a critical state; he is in the ICU of Sion Hospital, to where he was shifted late in the evening yesterday. His brother Venkatesh told mid-day, “Residents of Omkar Esquare and their guests park their cars illegally in our area, and grab space. When my brother protested, these goons beat him up. He is in a serious condition, and his face is swollen.”
The accused has been booked under sections 363 (kidnapping), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. “The accused has confessed that he and his friend kidnapped the victim.
After beating him up in the car, which belonged to a Navi Mumbai-based doctor, for one hour, the duo threw him out at Kala Nagar junction. Some pedestrians saw the victim screaming for help, and he was taken to Bhabha Hospital,” informed B Z Gavit, senior inspector of Sion police station.
A team comprising senior PI Bole, PI Tupe, API Nikam and ASI Gosavi and constables Bullard and Mandhare, from Crime Branch (Unit IV), formed a team and nabbed Thakur from Vashi. His friend is currently absconding.