The raid of police’s special branch on illegal Bangladeshis at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai on Sunday night, in which two policemen were assaulted, had begun earlier at Mankhurd, in which an illegal immigrant, Samshed Mandal, was held.
Mandal’s questioning provided the SB officials with information about eight Bangladeshis residing illegally in Kharghar, and they were also rounded up. From these eight, the police got a tip-off about more of them residing in the Owe village area of Kharghar. It was during a raid in the village that PSI Subhash Bandekar and police naik Suresh Hande were attacked.
Pramodrao Shevale, deputy commissioner of police (zone-2), Navi Mumbai police, said, “The special branch conducts regular raids at various places to arrest illegal immigrants. Bandekar and his team had learned of the presence of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the area. They even managed to round up a few people, who were boarded in police vehicles. Soon however, a large mob gathered which attacked the policemen with iron rods, bamboos etc.”
Bandekar and Hande are admitted to Fortis Hospital in Mulund. "Hande has suffered fracture of the skull bone and is admitted to the intensive care unit. He is disoriented, which is known to happen in such injuries. We have kept him under close observation," said Dr Kausal Malhan, consulting orthopedic surgeon, Fortis Hospital. Dr Malhan said that Hande’s hands have also been fractured and will need to be operated upon.
Bandekar, on the other hand, suffered fractures on his forearms and cuts on his legs. "He will undergo surgery tomorrow,” said Dr Malhan.
Meanwhile, officials said that though no link has yet been established between the illegal immigrants who come to Navi Mumbai seeking jobs and the terror elements, the police are taking no chances.
Purshottam Karad, DCP (zone-1), said, “They are not involved in any terror activities, but they do resort to minor crimes at times. However, these people could be easy recruits for anti-national elements. We cannot be complacent about them. Constant alertness is the key to keep the situation under control."