Shanti Nagar locals found the 25-year-old falling from a tree when they were patrolling at night to fend off Chaddi Baniyan gang; cops say they don't know what language he is speaking; earlier Mulund residents had beaten 'suspect'
After some Mulund residents stripped and thrashed a mentally unstable man mistaking him for a robber, locals of Thane (East) assaulted a 25-year-old youth because they suspected him to be a member of the notorious Chaddi Baniyan gang of burglars.
Pill-popper robber? Locals said when they started hitting the accused,
Kanna Suraiyya, he swallowed a pill to numb his body to pain.
While the former was innocent, the man nabbed in Thane is a robbery suspect. In the early hours of Tuesday, locals were patrolling the streets to look out for the feared gang -- named for the vests and underpants its members are clad in -- when they found the youth and beat him up with lathis and rods. However, cops are having a tough time talking to him, as they can't tell which language and dialect he speaks.
The rumours of the Chaddi Baniyan gang roaming the central suburbs of Bhandup, Mulund, Vikhroli, even Powai, have now reached Thane, whose Police Commissioner KP Raghuvanshi has even sent bulk messages to citizens, asking them not to believe the rumors and if necessary call the nearest police station.
Around 2 am, residents of Shanti Nagar, while patrolling, found that dogs suddenly started barking and running to a corner of a bungalow. "As we reached there, a person fell from a tree. The residents caught hold of him, and suspecting him to be a member of the Chaddi Baniyan gang, started kicking and punching him," said Ramesh Salve, a resident of Shanti Nagar.
"He was trying to enter a bungalow at the Twelve Government Bungalows locality. When we started beating him, he popped a pill which made his body numb," said Sanjay Hadale, a resident of the same neighbourhood.
The locals handed him over to the Kopri police, who are yet to figure out what language he speaks and understands. "We have booked him for roaming in the area suspiciously in the night. His name is Kanna Suraiyya," said D R Pawar, senior police inspector of Kopri police station. "We brought in Assamese, Bengali and Tamil translators but he does not understand any of these languages. It's difficult to talk with him."
The communication barrier has insulated Suraiyya from further questioning.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik has asked police officers in Bhandup, Mulund and Vikhroli, where the rumors of the gang's menace originated and are still propagating, to book people who roam in the night for breach of law.
Incidentally, on Tuesday, the Navghar police in Mulund even booked some people for floating the rumours.