A walk in the neighbourhood park on a Saturday night in the company of his dog went awry for 62-year-old Milind Parwatay, when a confrontation with a neighbour turned into an ugly and violent scuffle.

Milind Parwatay’s wife Neeta sustained a skull-deep injury to her head in the scuffle and needed stitches
Milind Parwatay’s wife Neeta sustained a skull-deep injury to her head in the scuffle and needed stitches

Parwatay claims that while he was strolling with his labrador Figo around 10.30 pm after dinner in a park near their New Panvel residence, they ran into Praful Mhatre, a neighbour, who was also walking in the park.

Scared by the dog, Mhatre let out a squeal, at which Figo barked and snarled. Mhatre then began hurling abuses at him for not keeping the dog at a safe distance. Parwatay claimed that the man then asked the guard manning his under-construction bungalow to attack him.

To avoid a confrontation, the dog owner offered to leave, saying he would make sure the dog didn’t bark. He then turned around to leave. Meanwhile, his wife Neeta (57) heard shouts coming from outside and rushed to the window to see what had happened. She watched from her apartment in horror as the watchman later identified as Anil Singh pounced on her husband.

Shipra Roy Choudhary, a neighbour, also heard the shouts and rushed outside. “I ran out of my ground floor apartment to see Milind pinned under the watchman,” she said. She urged Mhatre to instruct his guard to release Milind. Choudhary claims that instead of paying heed to her request, Mhatre ordered the watchman to assault her as well.

As soon as she joined the fray, the watchman mercilessly hurled blows on her head with a stick that had been lying about. Parwate told mid-day said, “I called up the police control room and informed them about the assault. When I turned, I saw that my wife had collapsed and was bleeding profusely from her head.” Neeta was rushed to the nearby Neel Hospital, where she received six stitches on her head.

An FIR has been lodged at the Khandeshwar police station in New Panvel under sections 324, 504 and 34 of the IPC. The assaulters were granted bail by the weekend court. J R Thorat, police inspector at Khandeshwar police station, said, “We have learnt that a case had been lodged against Praful Mhatre earlier as well.”

The other side
Mhatre said, “The leash wasn’t strong enough and the dog was barking constantly. What if it had bitten me? I only asked them to tie a stronger belt, but the lady and the man started creating a ruckus. I was not present when they were allegedly beaten up. They are trying to frame me.”