Mumbai: Furious mob attacks cops at funeral procession
Mob was neighbours of 44-year-old man who had committed suicide over police inaction in the case of his daughter's kidnapping
An angry mob, that was part of the funeral procession of 44-year-old Pancharam Rithadiya, went on rampage at Chembur on Tuesday afternoon. Rithadiya had committed suicide claiming inaction by the police in rescuing his teenaged daughter from a family that he alleged had kidnapped her. Around 2,000 people held up traffic for a couple of hours and damaged vehicles and attacked the police, who launched a lathi charge to disperse them. The police have not revealed the damage caused or the number of people detained.
Rithadiya, a Tilak Nagar resident, had alleged that Nehru Nagar police were not doing anything to bring back his 17-year-old daughter, Aarti, 'kidnapped' by a family. The police had registered a case of kidnapping against five members of the family and during investigation found that girl had gone to them willingly. Claiming that the police were not doing anything, Rithadiya committed suicide on October 13.
The Wadala GRP had registered another case against members of the same family for abetting his suicide. Mid-day had reported that Rithadiya's family had refused to accept his body from the morgue at Sion Hospital as a mark of protest against the delay in finding his daughter (Family refuses to claim body of kin who committed suicide as protest, mid-day, October 18). Locals at Thakkar Bappa Colony in Chembur also boycotted the assembly elections in support of Rithadiya's family's fight for justice (A total boycott by Thakkar Bappa Colony residents, mid-day October 22).
Protesters target police
On Tuesday afternoon, the funeral procession started from Nehru Nagar. More than 2,000 people including relatives and local residents had joined it. When it reached Umarshi Bappa Chowk, Chembur, participants started shouting slogans against the Mumbai police. "Protestors were claiming that had Nehru Nagar police taken swift action, Rithadiya would have been alive," said a police officer.
As more protesters started gathering at Umarshi Bappa Chowk, the police force found themselves getting outnumbered. The protesters then blocked four roads. Police said after half an hour, they launched a lathi charge against protestors to clear the traffic jam. The angry crowd hit back at the police and started damaging vehicles. Due to the traffic jam, additional police force couldn't reach the spot, and the mob started attacking the police.
The police are yet to evaluate the damages and haven't revealed how many of their staff were attacked. Traffic towards Vashi and Sion was held up on Sion-Panvel Highway for nearly two hours due to the protest. "Three police officers and four constables were injured. Approximately 25 to 30 vehicles have been damaged," said DCP Zone 6 Shashi Kumar Meena.
"A case has been registered under section 307 (attempt to murder), 326 (voluntarily causing hurt by weapon), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt), 333 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restrain), 141 (unlawful assembly), 143 (member of unlawful assembly), 144 (Joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon), 145 (Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse) 147 (rioting), 148 (,Rioting, armed with deadly weapon) 149 (,Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) and 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). A case under relevant sections of Public Property Act, Criminal Law Amendment Act and Maharashtra Police Act has been registered against 150 to 200 persons. A total of 33 accused have been arrested. Investigation is in progress," said Jayprakash Bhosale, senior Inspector, Chembur police.
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