Ruckus at Mumbai airport: I hit flier in self-defence, says immigration official
Accused of thrashing a passenger for pointing out a mistake in stamping his passport, the immigration constable at Mumbai airport alleges the flier was drunk and hit him first
Two days after a brawl between a flier and an immigration official at Mumbai airport, the police is yet to start its investigation in the matter. The flier told the police that he was thrashed for pointing out a mistake made by the official, but in his cross complaint, the official laid the blame squarely on the passenger for losing his temper and attacking him first with a rubber stamp.
Deepak Chavan’s arm has been in bandages since the brawl, and medical case papers state he also suffered blunt trauma, bite mark and chest pain, among other complaints
The police are waiting for CCTV footage of the incident to determine who is telling the truth.
mid-day had reported the flier, Kishore Shimpi’s ordeal on March 1, as he was hurrying to Mumbai to see his son, who got severely injured in a road accident. He was stuck at the airport for hours after Immigrations Constable Deepak Chavan at counter number 21 wrongly stamped his passport with February 28 as the date of entry. When Shimpi was sent back to get it corrected, a quarrel broke out between him and Chavan.
Shimpi had filed a non-cognisable complaint against Chavan, who in turn lodged an FIR at Sahar police station. In his statement to the police, Chavan said Shimpi went to the neighbouring counter to get the correct stamp instead of returning to the same counter. He began to berate the official sitting at the next counter for the mistake, which is why Chavan intervened.
“According to Chavan, Shashank Sathe was present at counter 22, and he was the one suffering the passenger’s rebukes; that is why Chavan went there to tell the flier he was the one who had stamped his passport,” said a police officer involved in the probe.
Chavan clearly stated that it was the passenger who attacked him both verbally and physically, after which he retaliated in self-defence.
“The passenger first threw the rubber stamp at me and started abusing me. When my colleagues asked him to approach the higher officials if he had a problem, he started hitting, kicking and abusing me. My colleagues came to help me and caught him. I could sense that he was drunk when he hit me,” reads his statement.
Chavan said he received first aid at the airport’s medical room and was then sent to Seven Hills Hospital. Following that, the police also sent him to Cooper Hospital for the medical formalities.
According to the case papers from Cooper (mid-day has a copy), Chavan suffered blunt trauma, bite mark and chest pain, among other complaints.
However, top officials from the airport claimed that the immigration official wasn’t being completely truthful in blaming the passenger.
“Only CCTV footage will clear the exact scene that took place between the two. A letter was written to the CISF for the footage initially, but after we learnt that the area was completely managed by immigration officials, we sent another letter to them the same night. We are waiting for the Immigration department to hand over the CCTV footage to us so that we can begin investigations,” said a police official who did not wished to be named.
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