In two separate road rage incidents on Saturday, two traffic constables were thrashed by angry motorists for diligently carrying out their duty. While Nandkumar Bankar was assaulted by four people after he asked the driver to stop as he was driving in the wrong direction on the Western Express Highway near Kandivli, Maruti Padwal was thrashed for demanding the licence of a motorcyclist who jumped the signal at Andheri (East).
Ravi Hirve, Vijay Kewat, 26, and Pradeep Bhalekar, 26, have been remanded in police custody till October 11 for assaulting Bankar.
Their accomplice is absconding.
Hirve, who is president of Borivli taluka of the RPI’s youth wing, took a wrong turn near Bhor junction, Kandivli (West), around 9pm. He was not wearing a seat belt either. “Bankar asked Hirve to stop the car, but he tried to knock down the traffic constable instead. Luckily, Bankar jumped on to the other side. Hirve then stopped the car and along with his three friends, started assaulting Bankar,” said Nanasaheb Kamble, senior police inspector of the Samta Nagar police station.
Around 100 RPI workers created a ruckus inside the Samta Nagar police station on Sunday.
The assailants fled from the spot while Bankar lay on the road with injuries on his chest, stomach, left eye, left ear and mouth. He was later admitted to Bhagwati hospital. “When I stopped the car, the driver started abusing and threatening me. He then called his friends and assaulted me,” Bankar told DNA.
In a similar vein, a motorcyclist attempted to run over Padwal at the Durga Nagar junction in Andheri around 5pm. Jaffar Khan, 32, a resident of Kandivli, jumped the signal and refused to hand over his licence after being stopped by Padwal. “Khan began using foul language and tried to run over the traffic constable under his two-wheeler,” said an officer attached to the MIDC police station. “He then grabbed Padwal’s collar and assaulted him.”
Khan has been arrested and booked under charges of assault and obstructing a government officer from discharging his duty.
Recently, taking cognisance of the increasing cases of assault on traffic cops, Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh said he planned to arm them with batons. The cops are also considering booking assailants under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, 1981. Offenders can been booked for 3 to 12 months without bail under the act.