Viral video helps cops nab trigger-happy rioter who pinched police gun

Aug 17, 2012, 06:51 IST | A correspondent

A video on YouTube may have allowed Salim Allah Rakha Chaulkiya his 15 minutes of fame, but it also led to his arrest yesterday.

Oshiwara police nabbed Salim, who had stolen a self-loading rifle (SLR) from a police officer at Azad Maidan during Saturday’s rumpus. In the video clips, Salim can be seen roving with the weapon, which was later found abandoned in the area.

YouTube video, carrying the police rifle over his right shoulder
Jumping the gun: In this grab from a YouTube video Salim is seen nonchalantly carrying the police rifle over his right shoulder

“Salim works at Manish Market and was apprehended from Jogeshwari on the basis of the footage available,” said a Crime Branch officer.

nabbed Salim
Trapped: The Oshiwara police nabbed Salim and handed him over to the Crime Branch yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy recently held a meeting with detection officers of 93 police stations in the city, showed them all the accessible video clips of Saturday’s riots and asked them to identify the troublemakers and arrest them.

Come and gone
Police have till now tagged 30 people who took part in the riots and are seen hurling stones at buses and the crowd. All of them are absconding.

A senior inspector, two assistant inspectors, 37 male constables and four female constables were injured in the violence. Two rioters died in police firing. Sources revealed that it would be very difficult to ascertain whose bullets had hit the deceased as police ammunition was stolen from the spot by rioters. Several video clips show protesters brandishing police SLRs.

“More than 40 policemen were injured. Now where is the human rights commission? Send this message to all policemen,” were the contents of an SMS received by several cops on Thursday.

“The morale of policemen has certainly gone down after Saturday’s riots as the firing orders were given very late. The agitators even managed to swipe our guns, chuck stones and injure fellow officers. Still rioters are roaming free and no arrests have been made till date,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.

Guiding light!
An officer said Salim used to supply torches at Oshiwara police station among other places. When the video footage was made available to them, some cops were able to recognise him, and one even had his phone number. They then called him up, pretending they needed some flashlights. When Salim came to deliver the merchandise at a designated shop in Jogeshwari, he was arrested. 

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