Mumbai Crime: Drunk auto driver jumps queue, beats fellow driver to death

Feb 20, 2015, 06:43 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

Deceased was waiting for his turn outside Govandi station when the inebriated auto driver broke the line; when the victim protested, accused punched and kicked him on the chest several times and fled the spot

A drunk auto driver in Govandi jumped the queue and got into a fight with the protesting auto driver who was awaiting his turn to take a passenger. The inebriated man assaulted the driver so furiously that by the time the Govandi police took the latter to the hospital, he had died.

Shahaji Galande was arrested the very next day after the incident Imran Ali Sheikh would drive his auto rickshaw in the evening and help neighbours with odd jobs in the morning.
Shahaji Galande was arrested the very next day after the incident and Imran Ali Sheikh would drive his auto rickshaw in the evening and help neighbours with odd jobs in the morning

The victim was identified as Imran Ali Sheikh (20), a resident of Lallubhai compound in Mankhurd. According to the police, last Friday at 11 pm, Imran was awaiting his turn at the share auto rickshaw stand outside Govandi station to ferry passengers. Only one passenger was left to complete the ride.

However, the accused, Shahaji Galande (25), arrived on the spot in a drunken state and parked his auto ahead of Imran’s vehicle, to which the latter rightfully protested. The argument turned physical and Galande began attacking Imran, pushing him to the ground and assaulting him on his chest with kicks and punches repeatedly.

Imran’s uncle, Munna, said, “Nobody came to his rescue. The accused escaped from the spot. The passengers also left. Imran lay there for more than 30 minutes before police came to the spot. They took him to Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared dead. Had someone intervened in the fight or taken him to a hospital, he would’ve been alive today.”

Imran is survived by his parents and a 16-year-old sister, a Std XII student. Munna said the youth was the sole breadwinner for the family. “He had just begun working as an auto driver two months ago. His whole family was dependent on him. Some of the auto drivers at this stand are drug addicts.

That stand is illegal and dangerous,” alleged Munna, adding that the deceased had started going to the auto stand only 2-3 days ago and that the other drivers had had arguments with him because he was new. Imran’s grieving mother told this paper, “He was born to me ten years after marriage. We were planning to send him to the Gulf for a job. Now he is gone. I don’t want to live any more!”

His father, too, has gone into shock and leaves home randomly, getting into fights with strangers. He believes his son is still alive. Imran worked from 5 pm to 12 am, and in the morning he would help the neighbours out by doing odd jobs. Almost the entire neighbourhood spoke well of him.

Cop speak
Devendra Paul, police inspector, Govandi police station, said, “The accused was arrested the next day after the incident. We have charged him under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. He was under the influence of alcohol. We are verifying the facts and taking statements of eyewitnesses to see if more people are involved. As of now, it seems only Galande was involved, as he too has confessed to the crime.”

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