Mumbai, (The Hindu): The Sion police booked a mob of about a 100 people on Sunday for pelting stones at the police and Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) staff on Saturday night and vandalising vehicles. The violence was reportedly triggered by the death of a 17-year-old boy from Dharavi who had earlier been picked up by the police in connection with a mobile phone theft.
On July 13, Sachin Jaiswal, who had been caught for theft before, was called in by the Dharavi police for questioning and was let off. A day later, he was admitted to Sion Hospital for fever, and his family claimed he had fallen ill because the police had hit him. Jaiswal succumbed to what doctors said was leptospirosis around 11 p.m. on Saturday.
As word of his death spread, a mob of over 100 gathering outside the hospital and pelted stones at the police and MSCC staff on duty. Two police constables and four MSSC personnel, including a woman, were injured and three police vehicles were damaged. Constable Kishorekumar Kadam, 31, sustained serious head injuries. The police said the mob also vandalised a nearby traffic police outpost.
As the family alleged a police role in Jaiswal’s death, the hospital sent the body to JJ Hospital for post-mortem. However, the family refused to allow the examination. The victim’s brother, Sunil, said, “My brother was beaten up by the police officials in front of me. He was called for inquiry for a theft and kept there till 3 a.m. He was locked up in the bathroom. We want an FIR to be filed against the police official before a post-mortem.”
The family denies participating in the stone pelting. “No one from my family tried to hurt the police. Other people who were nearby heard our cries and started pelting the stones,” he said.
Jayshree Mondkar, Dean, Sion Hospital, said, “Around 12 people were admitted to the hospital after the stone-pelting.” Hospital authorities said the injuries were superficial. Five people are under observation, and the rest have been discharged.
Additional Commissioner of Police S. Jaykumar said, “The 100 people who attacked the police have been booked for rioting, unlawful assembly and obstructing police officers from doing their duty.” Regarding the family’s claims, he said, “An accidental death report has already been filed at Dharavi police station. Until the post-mortem is conducted, nothing else can be said.”
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