Anil Aitodekar, 42, the traffic constable who was set on fire by an autorickshaw driver in Vasai on October 27, died of burn injuries on Wednesday.
Last week, Aitodekar had penalised 22-year-old auto driver Mahendra Kevat for not following traffic rules. Aitodekar had fined him for picking up passengers outside the autorickshaw stand near Navghar bus stand. An angry Kevat left the place, and returned with a can of petrol an hour later. He poured the petrol on Aitodekar and set him ablaze.
According to the Manikpur police, Aitodekar had high diabetes and had not been responding to medical treatment over the past few days. He died at 6 am at Masina Hospital in Byculla, where he had been shifted from Vasai for treatment. Aitodekar’s body was sent to JJ Hospital for a post mortem.
Meanwhile, at Aitodekar’s Kalyan residence in Anupam Nagar, policemen and relatives poured in to pay their last respects. Deputy superintendent of police (Thane Rural) Deepak Devraj said when the incident had occurred, the police had arrested Kevat and charged him with attempt to murder.
“But, now that the victim is dead, the charge will be upgraded to murder,” Devraj said. He added that the police custody of Kevat ended on November 3 and they produced him in court on Wednesday, seeking further remand till November 10.
Kevat had fled the scene of the crime and was tracked down and arrested in the wee hours of October 28 at Vasai when he was trying to escape to his native place in Uttar Pradesh.
Colleagues give constable an 8-gun salute at funeral
At 4 pm on Wednesday, residents of Anupam Nagar, Kalyan (W), police officers and local corporator, Raju Develekar, gathered in and around the flat at A-3 wing, where Anil Aitodekar resided with his family. His wife, Shobha, had fainted on hearing the news of his death.
As per police department rules, Aitodekar was given a final eight-rifle salute by the Thane rural police. Vishwas Nangre Patil, superintendent of police, was present on the occasion.
The funeral procession first reached the Methodist Church at Sindhigate where a prayer service was held, after which the body was taken to the Kalyan Christian Cemetery, near Waldhuni.
“He was good-hearted and was always ready to help everyone. He also participated in every event or festival celebrated in church,” said Ajay Chandekar, a close friend of Aitodekar
Ramakant Aitodekar, the constable’s father said, “I can find no words to describe my son. He was everything to us. Our entire family has been orphaned.”
He added: “He was the only earning member in the family. His death has thrown up many questions that I never thought I would have to face, and I have no answers.”