Two police officials from Khandeshwar police station were allegedly assaulted by a mob after they turned off a loudspeaker, which was on after the 10pm deadline on Tuesday night, at a religious event. The culprits did not spare the police van either.
According to the police, residents had organised a ‘Harinaam week’ at the Khanda Colony junction at sector 8, and over 1,000 people from neighbouring areas like Kamothe, Kalamboli and Panvel gathered.
“The devotees were performing bhajan-kirtan at the religious gathering and devotional songs were being played on the loudspeaker after 10 pm — a violation of the Supreme Court’s order.
After a few sector 8 residents complained, two officials went to the spot and asked the organisers to turn off the loudspeakers,” said CK Mhatre, police sub-inspector from Khandeshwar police station.
A few devotees, however, were in no mood to budge and flatly refused to turn off the blaring loudspeaker. This was soon followed by a tussle between the two parties, following which the devotees began assaulting the policemen. The cops then fled the spot, leaving their van behind.
“The mob followed our officials, who began running towards the police station, and caused damage there too. They assaulted our officials inside the police station as well. Some even pelted stones on the van that had been left behind at the spot and it was severely damaged,” Mhatre said.
The officials suffered injuries in the attack and they were admitted to a private hospital in Khanda Colony, late on Tuesday night. One of them is reportedly critical.
The police later arrested four among the attackers. They have been identified as Dattatray Patil, 48, Vaman Shelke, 43, both residents of Panvel; Ramdas Chowdhury, 49, a resident of Kalyan, and Kantilal Gawane, 38, resident of Khanda Colony.
Jonardan Thorat, senior police inspector of Khandeshwar police station said, “A huge number of people followed our officials and entered the police station. However, we have not been able to identify the others. Our investigations are on and we may arrest more people in the days to come.”
The police have booked the accused under sections 143-149, 353, 332 of the Indian Penal Code.
They were produced before the judicial court on Wednesday afternoon.