In yet another case of police excess, three Mumbai Police constables were suspended on Saturday for allegedly assaulting workers of a sweet mart in Mahim with sticks and a large mote spoon.
According to investigators, the incident occurred in the wee hours of Saturday at Sandesh Sweets in Mahim. According to an FIR filed by the Mahim police, the three constables Rajdeep More (33), Vishal Bhagat (27) and Yashwant Kamble (27), all attached with the Shahu Nagar police station, broke into the shop and “thrashed” the sleeping workers and even damaged some furniture.
In his statement to the police, Chandan Singh, the owner of the shop, said he had given his workers some money to celebrate after the birth of a child in his family.
The workers were celebrating outside the shop when they allegedly had an altercation with Rajdeep More who was off-duty and on his way home in the fisherman colony in Mahim.
“More in his statement to the police said that while he was returning to his Mahim home, he had confronted the workers as they were creating a ruckus. Following an exchange of heated words, More claimed that he was injured under his chin, for which he required four stitches,” said Praveen More, Senior Police Inspector, Mahim police.
Investigators said constable More called his colleagues Kamble and Bhagat for further reinforcement. “Bhagat was on his way home but Kamble was on night duty. Both arrived at the spot, and along with More, they broke into the sweet mart from the back door and assaulted the workers. More had by then contacted the police control for further reinforcement, a mobile van from the local Mahim police was also sent to the spot,” an investigator added.
However, the CCTV footage of the sweet mart accessed by The Indian Express, revealed that the workers who were sleeping at around 1.15 am on Saturday were woken up to blows by policemen in uniform and also an unknown local, wearing shorts. Kamble is also believed to have been wearing his uniform on the night of the assault.
“We have not received any police complaint regarding the officers in uniform who had turned up. No action will be taken against them. However, the three constables, the ones who assaulted the workers have been booked and suspended,” said Mahesh Patil, Zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police.
“We are awaiting medical reports of their blood samples which were taken at Bhabha Hospital and which have been sent for further analysis to the forensic science laboratory in Kalina,” Patil added.
The three constable have been primarily booked under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapon) and 452 (house trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code.
The trio will be produced before a magistrate court on Sunday. “More was injured below his chin and got four stitches. We soon registered a case against the workers of the shop who reportedly injured him,” the senior inspector said.
There have been instances of police excesses over the last few months. In September last year, three policewomen were caught on camera shoving and repeatedly slapping a 21-year-old woman near Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati pandal. Two women constables were suspended after an interim report was submitted in the matter.
In November last year, a video showing cops of the Andheri police station ‘thrashing’ a couple had gone viral.
Following these instances, the then Mumbai police commissioner Ahmad Javed had issued a circular stating that the police should not be aggressive while dealing with people.