A mob gathered outside Vanrai police station to protest against the custodial death of a thief turned violent, attacking officials and ransacking the premises yesterday. Authorities say the incident occurred after angry family members of the deceased thief Manoj Salvi gathered outside the police station. Salvi, a suspect in the theft of a bag at an exhibition at NESCO grounds in Goregaon, died on Saturday (‘Thief dies hours after being thrashed at expo’). Salvi’s family alleged that he died owing to police torture, and that they had delayed taking him to the hospital. The police are treating the case as a custodial death.
Police officers said that around 11:30 am yesterday, a group of people, including 20-30 women gathered near the police station and began shouting that Salvi had been beaten to death. When the police officers tried to calm them down, the group marched inside the police station and assaulted the cops with sticks and ransacked the premises. They said that the situation soon went out of hand and they had to resort to lathi charge to control the violent crowd. Authorities said that during the protest, a woman sub-inspector sustained injuries to her eye. They added that a senior inspector and an assistant commissioner of police were also hurt during the scuffle.
“Around 2 pm, the crowd turned violent and we called for help from other police stations. The DCP, who was conducting a press conference in Kurar, rushed to the spot to control the crowds,” said a police officer. “We had to resort to mild lathi-charge to control the crowd. However, they did not calm down and assaulted the men in uniform. In the scuffle, a few police officers were hurt including a woman sub-inspector,” added Uttam Khairmode, ACP, Goregaon division. The police arrested the group of people for rioting and assault. “We are investigating the case,” said Khairmode.