Cop dies after assault by ‘thief’

Santosh Salvi, 35, of Pune, was remanded in police custody until November 24 by a holiday court .

Written by Meghna Yelluru | Mumbai | Published: November 17, 2014 8:41 am
Ajay Gawand Ajay Gawand

A Mumbai Police constable was killed after being attacked by a theft suspect in Wadi Bunder on Saturday. The policeman was part of a team that had responded to an incident of theft at the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited Building on P D’Mello Road. Constable Ajay Gawand, who confronted the thief alone, suffered several blows to the base of his head and collapsed, while his colleagues overpowered the suspect.

Santosh Salvi, 35, of Pune, was remanded in police custody until November 24 by a holiday court .

According to assistant inspector Shashikant Yadav, around 2 am, the police station received a phone call, reporting a thief entering the two-storey BPCL building. The accused had locked himself on the terrace when over 20 police personnel reached the spot.

“From the second floor, the policemen could see Salvi  on the terrace. When we told him to come down, he began pelting stones,” Yadav said.
Meanwhile, Gawand climbed up a window grill which led to the terrace and entered the terrace. “He approached Salvi, who was standing near the door of the terrace, and tried to talk him into surrendering. Salvi picked up a 5-ft long wooden plank and hit Gawand on the head.
Gawand lost consciousness. Salvi then bludgeoned Gawand on the back of his head two more times,” said Yadav.

By then, two of Gawand’s colleagues, one of them assistant inspector Arun Thorat, had reached the terrace. “We immediately nabbed Salvi. We rushed Gawand to J J Hospital. But he died during treatment, having suffered skull fractures,” said Thorat.

Gawand’s funeral was conducted at the Gawanpada Hindu Crematorium in Mulund East on Sunday afternoon and attended by Gawand’s family, colleagues and senior police officers.
At Dongri police station, Gawand is remembered by his colleagues as a valiant and jovial cop.

Constable Nitin Shinde recalled that Gawand had once saved a colleague’s life. “Over a year ago, when we had taken an accused to a hospital for a medical examination, he attempted to stab a constable with a piece of broken glass. Gawand reacted quickly by grabbing the glass piece. Gawand’s hands were bleeding profusely,” said Shinde.
Gawand is survived by his wife, Swati, 38, and a 9-year-old son. He was commissioned into the police in 1993.

“Gawand’s full salary and pension will be paid to his family. We will also give his wife a job and foot the educational expenses of his child. We will also propose his name to the Centre for a Gallantry Award,” said Additional Commissioner of Police Krishna Prakash.

Gavan was also a gifted wrestler and had been awarded the Shiv Chhatrapati Award for body building in 2005.

Police patrol car hits 3, kills 1
A patrol car driven by a constable posted with the Mumbai Police Crime Branch allegedly hit three pedestrians at Nariman Point around 10 pm  Saturday, leaving one dead and two injured. Mangesh Chavan was arrested and released on bail on Sunday. Police identified the deceased as Mohammed Ansari (45). The accident occurred when a Toyota Qualis driven by Chavan, who was accompanied by Tukaram Deolikar, was on night patrol. “Chavan was lost control over the vehicle and while trying to avoid colliding with a Victoria carriage, Chavan mistakenly hit the accelerator,” said an officer.

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