A private power company’s security guard was beaten to death allegedly by a group of villagers during a drive against electricity bill defaulters, while three policemen were injured in an attack by a mob in a separate incident here in Maharashtra, police said on Sunday. The incidents took place over the last two days in the Bhiwandi powerloom town.
On Saturday, some staff members of the power company along with its security guard Tukaram Pawar went to Katai area of Kaneri village in Bhiwandi to take action against those who had not paid their electricity bills, an official from Nizampura police station said. A group of 10-15 villagers allegedly beat up the power firm staffers severely and prevented them from cutting their electricity supply, he said.
Pawar received severe injuries in the attack. He was rushed to the IGM Hospital in Bhiwandi where doctors declared him brought dead, the official said. The Nizampura police sent the body for postmortem and have so far registered a case of accidental death.
The police official said they were waiting for the postmortem report to take further action into the case. The victim’s son alleged lapses on part of the power company, leading to his father’s death.
However, the power firm’s public relations officer Chetan Bijlani said it was a usual drive against defaulters, hence police protection was not sought for it. “In case of special drives, we seek police protection," he said.
In another incident, three policemen were injured in an attack by a mob on Friday while they were trying to nab a criminal at Kasai Wada in Bhiwandi on Friday. A joint team of the Gujarat police and Bhiwandi crime branch, in plain clothes, had gone in search of Jamil Qureshi (38), against whom criminal offences were registered by Valsad police in the neighbouring state.
In a bid to evade arrest, Qureshi jumped out of the window of his flat, located on the fourth floor of a building, and died, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bhiwandi Zone, Yogesh Chavan said. The family members of the deceased and locals subsequently came out in the locality and alleged that the policemen pushed him to death.
The irate mob also allegedly manhandled some policemen, the official said. Some videos, purportedly showing a number of men and women beating up policemen and hitting them with stones, went viral on social media.
A sub-inspector and two constables from the Bhiwandi police team received injuries in the incident and they were taken to a local hospital for treatment, Chavan said. The Nizampura police have identified the culprits and registered a case under IPC sections for rioting, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, wrongful restraint, and other relevant provisions.
“It is a sensitive area, hence police will take appropriate action while ensuring law and order is not disturbed. The situation in the locality is under control," the official said.