Tension prevailed in Rabodi,Thane,after a policeman reportedly abused some holy books being sold by a hawker. The police constable,who has been accused of indulging in blasphemous act,has been suspended pending a departmental enquiry.
Though community leaders and the police brought the situation under control,however,there were incidents of stone pelting on shops and one shopkeeper was assaulted by a furious mob.
According to deputy commissioner of police Vikram Deshmane,the incident took place in the afternoon when policemen accompanied by a constable were patrolling the market place to reign in noisy hawkers. The previous evening the shopkeepers,hawkers and local residents had held a meeting to discuss the nuisance created by noisy hawkers,including fish mongers. The police had received information from the community members that din of the hawkers were disturbing students in the neighbourhood preparing for their exams.
It has been alleged that when policemen were trying to check the hawkers who were creating nuisance some books were jostled in the melee, said additional commissioner of police Vivek Phansalkar.
Though the policemen left the scene,the incident was about to snowball into a major law and order problem as a huge crowd gathered after being incited by a handful of youth from the locality.
Shops in the immediate vicinity were pelted with stones and were forced to close down. My brother Ashok Thakkar (46) was beaten up by the mob for not closing down the shop immediately. He is still in a state of shock. We had no problem closing the shop. But it took some time to put all the goods inside before pulling down the shutter, said Govind Thakkar owner of Payal stores at Tapase Nagar.
Thakkar had recently re-opened his store after it was gutted in the September 2008 communal riots.
There were some youth who were trying to create trouble. I,along with other members of the community,reigned in the peoples fury on time and things were brought under control after the news of policemens suspension came in, said Najib Mulla,the local corporator from Nationalist Congress Party.
The situation is now under control. The police will remain at several locations in Rabodi, said Additional CP Phansalkar.