A 70-year-old priest at a Shiva temple in Shrinagar area of Thane was just doing his duty — managing a huge number of devotees on Mahashivratri, asking them to not disturb the queue, not wear shoes inside temple premise — when a 40-year-old man got angry with the disciplining and bit the priest’s finger and ear. Later, a police constable, who rescued the accused from the crowd that had started beating him up, was also assaulted by the accused, identified as Shivaji Nana Salunke (40).
Shivaji Nana Salunke
The accused, a driver by profession, like many other devotees had gathered at the Swayambhu Amarnath Mandir in Shrinagar on Monday afternoon. Tausif Pathan (31), the police constable who also registered a complaint against Salunke, was deployed at the temple for security during the festival.
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The priest and the accused enter an argument after the priest asks the accused to not jump the queue. Illustrations/Uday Mohite
Baburao Gangaram Patil, a temporary priest for the temple, asked Salunke to remove his shoes and remain in the queue. “The accused and Patil had an argument over this and Salunke reacted by first biting the priest’s ring finger on his right hand and then his right ear. The public rescued Patil and started beating Salunke up. We then reached the spot and rescued Salunke from the angry mob,” said Pathan.
The accused bites the priest’s finger and then his ear
The cops then gave him water but he was so angry that he began assaulting them too. “When I offered him water, he caught my collar and started hitting me too. We caught hold of him and brought him to the police station where a case was registered against him,” said Pathan while adding that the accused is suspected to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The crowd rescues the priest and starts beating the accused
A case was registered at Shrinagar police station on Monday night under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
When cops rescue the accused and offer him water, he starts assaulting a police constable
Patil had sustained minor injuries and was taken to a clinic, from where he was discharged after getting first aid.