Mumbai/Nagpur: You may be startled by the fact that as many as 4,560 cops have been attacked across the state since 2012. And, it’s hardly surprising that Mumbai tops this list, with 947 attacks on policemen in the same period. This has come to the fore in a report submitted to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis by the police top brass. The report shows that hundreds of cops are attacked every year in Mumbai and the state. These figures from the Maharashtra Police report mean that, on an average, three cops are attacked in Maharashtra every day. In Mumbai, a cop is attacked every two days.
Most of the victims are traffic policemen manning the streets. There have also been several cases recently, in which motorists rammed into the cops while trying to escape inspections of nakabandi.
“Most of the attackers are either political party workers or affiliated to some or the other politician,” said a senior police officer, who requested anonymity. While Mumbai cops were the worst hit, Thane, Pune and Nagpur came next in the list. In police divisions, Kolhapur topped the list, followed by Nasik and Aurangabad.
Tip of the iceberg
The report submitted to the CM, while alarming in itself, does not cover the full extent of harm caused to cops. It only comprises data for attacks registered under one section of the IPC – Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty). So, cops who are killed in attacks are not included the report.
Just last month, the city was shaken by the death of Constable Vilas Shinde, who fought for his life for nine days after he was hit on the head by a minor biker and his brother. Shinde had caught the minor riding the bike without a helmet or any papers.
Just a few days later, a group of youngsters assaulted a cop in Kalyan after he allegedly warned them to stay away from the Ganpati visarjan pond (new video shows the cop fell into the water after a brawl). Since then, other cops have also been assaulted while on duty, and the outrage over these incidents prompted Chief Minister to look into the matter.
Top cop says
In a recent meeting with Director General of Police Satish Mathur, the CM asked for a detailed report on the attacks on cops in recent years. He has also asked the force to take stringent action against those who attack policemen and obstruct them from performing their duty.
Past efforts in vain
In October 2012, following similar outrage over increasing attacks on the men in khakhi, the then police commissioner, Satyapal Singh, had issued a circular laying down strict penalties for the culprits, such as cancellation of passport and PAN cards. Ex-CP Singh had also warned that action would be taken against such miscreants under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act. However, the circular was forgotten after the commissioner changed.