A police constable was killed while trying to arrest a thief who had locked himself on the terrace of a building at Wadi Bunder on Sunday. The thief, Santosh Patil, repeatedly hit constable Ajay Gawand, 43, on the head with a wooden plank. Patil was immediately arrested, while Gawand died in hospital later.
According to the police, around 1.36am, the watchman of the BPCL Amunity building at Wadi Bunder, informed the police control room about a thief inside the two-storey structure. A beat marshal went to the spot, but Patil pelted him with stones and prevented him from entering the building.
The beat marshal then called for reinforcements from the south region control room. Two officers and three constables of the Dongri police station, armed with fibre shields, were rushed to the spot.
“When the policemen tried to enter the building, Patil again threw stones at them. However, some cops managed to get inside, and Patil locked himself on the building’s terrace,” said an officer from the Dongri police station.
Gawand, along with a police informer, who is a local resident, managed to get to the balcony of the first floor. Then, using the window grilles, he climbed on to the terrace of the building.
“But, Patil refused to surrender and picking up a wooden plank, hit Gawand on the head. After Gavand fell down, Patil hit him four or five times on the head with the plank,” said S Yadav, assistant inspector, Dongri police station.
Meanwhile, the informer, too, had reached the terrace. Seeing Patil attacking Gawand, he managed to grab him and with the help of another policeman, who had reached the terrace by then, overpowered him, the police said.
Gawand was taken to JJ hospital but he succumbed to his injuries during treatment. The police have seized the blood-stained plank with which he was attacked. Gawand is survived by his wife and an eight-year-old son.
Patil, a painter by profession and a Pune resident, has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced in court on Sunday and remanded in police custody till November 24. Patil has told the police his wife left him recently and he was stealing because his family needed money.
“The brave constable who laid down his life while trying to catch a violent thief had won the Shiv Chhatrapati award for body building in 2005,” said Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police, south region.