An unarmed, off-duty constable who wasn’t even in uniform finally saved Sonal Lapashiya from her attacker as he slashed her with a sickle while the crowd watched.
Sonal was at a bus stop near Dadar (East) station when Vijay Sangelkar mistook her for his estranged wife whom he wanted to kill and attacked her.
Constable Bhagwan Metkari, 52, from RAK Marg police station who as posted outside the nearby Swaminarayan temple was about to go home when a girl came rushing towards him screaming for help.
“I had even changed my shirt. I came out of the Matunga police chowky to keep a bag, when a girl came running. She was shouting ‘kaka tya mulila vachva’ (please save the girl) and pointed in the direction where Vijay was hitting the girl. While there was a crowd, no one intervened as he was armed,” said Metkari, a Wadala resident.
He rushed to the spot without as much as a lathi and overpowered Vijay. “As Vijay raised his sickle for another blow, I caught his wrist with one hand, and held him by the neck from the other. The fact that he did not see me ensured that he was caught unawares,” added Metkari. By then, another beat marshal also joined Metkari in pinning down Vijay. The victim was lying in a pool of blood when the police took her scarf off. At this point, Vijay realised that Sonal was not his wife. “He was shocked. He told us that he had made a big mistake and that he was ready for punishment. He pleaded that the victim be rushed to the hospital,” said Metkari.
Constable Sanjay Rane of Matunga police station along with another constable in the meantime rushed Sonal to the Sion hospital. “It is unfortunate that she sustained serious injuries, but I am glad that I saved her from something worse,” said Metkari.