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Trombay violence: Senior inspector who ‘failed to control mob’ transferred

A senior Mumbai police official told HT that Sonur was removed on ‘administrative grounds’ on Wednesday, following the police commissioner’s order

mumbai Updated: Mar 22, 2017 22:54 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Trombay riot
An agitated mob torched a vehicle at the Trombay police station on Monday.(Arijit Sen/HT )

Senior inspector of Trombay police station Annasaheb Sonur was relieved of his duties in the wake of Saturday night’s mob attack on the police station, which left 15 policemen injured and several vehicles torched.

A senior Mumbai police official told HT that Sonur was removed on ‘administrative grounds’ on Wednesday, following the police commissioner’s order.

“Sonur failed to bring the situation under control. It could have been prevented if precautions were taken,” the official said. Sonur has been transferred to the Special Branch (SB) and replaced by Sunil Gaonkar, who was posted as a senior inspector in crime branch unit 6 at Ghatkopar.

Sources said Gaonkar was chosen for the job as he had managed the neighbouring Chembur police station earlier and has a good network of informants in Cheetah camp, a sensitive pocket that falls under the Trombay police station’s jurisdiction.

On Saturday evening, a violent mob of more than 200 locals — allegedly led by All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) corporator Shahnawaz Shaikh — laid siege to the police station.

They demanded that a young man who had uploaded a morphed photo of a place of worship on a social networking site be handed over to them. The police had arrested the young man following a complaint. As they refused to hand him over to the mob, people attacked the police station with stones, iron rods and petrol bombs.

The police were taken by surprise, but managed to hold the fort. The attackers persisted, but soon reinforcements from nearby police stations and the state reserve police force (SRPF) arrived.

The police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse the mob. More than 29 people were booked for the attack, which has no precedent in the city police’s 150-year-history.

So far, the police have arrested 29 people, including a local AIMIM corporator.

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AIMIM corporator held for rioting at Trombay