On Thursday morning, I discovered two boys tied to a water hydrant under the scorching sun.
This was in the car park near Indulge restaurant in CBD Belapur’s Sector 11. Ismail Sheikh (15) and Irfan Khan (13) (names changed) said, “We came to steal some pipes here when the watchman caught us. We were thrashed badly and tied to this pole.”
Security guard Ujjwal Sharma (21) said, “They were caught by night watchman Bagicha Singh (43) at around 4 am. He tied them to this pole to teach them a lesson. Our boss has been informed. I’m waiting for him to come.”
This was around 11.30 am. I phoned senior police inspector of CBD-Belapur police station, Ramesh Mohite, who said he would send some men immediately.
I called up Sameer Birajdar, partner in Indulge and Navi Mumbai deputy mayor Shashikant Birajdar’s son. He said, “Yes, the boys are thieves caught by our security. What’s wrong with that? I’ll be going to the restaurant in some time to check.”
When the media reached the spot, restaurant employees untied the boys, took them inside and tied them to a staircase railing.
One of the restaurant partners, Akash Vaswani, reached the place and got into a heated argument with the media.
The police took the boys to the station, where Birajdar said, “The guard is illiterate. How can he be expected to inform the police? He just wanted to ensure the boys didn’t get away.”
Singh and Sharma have been arrested. Mohite said, “The two boys have been taken into custody for attempted theft. A medical test has revealed no injury marks their bodies. They were not beaten up.”
“The security guard Singh has been arrested for taking the law into his hands by resorting to wrongful confinement under Indian Penal Code Section 332,” Mohite added.