Curious locals, shocked policemen and a posse of media — this was the scene at the Vakola police station on Saturday night, after the news that assistant sub-inspector Dilip Shirke had shot at his senior Vilas Joshi spread.
According to sources, Shirke lost his temper as Joshi questioned him over indiscipline at the police station. He fired rounds at Joshi and later shot himself. While Shirke died on the spot, Joshi succumbed to his injuries later at the Lilavati hospital, Bandra.
Soon after the incident, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria visited the police station, followed by his deputy and joint commissioner (law and order), Deven Bharti. The officers inspected the spot at the police station where the incident took place, while other officers stood guard at the entrance.
With crowd gathering in large numbers, the police had to call for extra deployment. After a brief discussion with Bharti, Maria stepped out of his cabin to take questions from the media.
Psychiatrists and police officers said fratricide is rare in the police force. “Fratricide is generally witnessed in military or para-military forces, where the stress level is very high. It is possible that the policeman may have been depressed because of professional or personal issues,” said Dr Yusuf Machiswala.
Former IPS officer YP Singh said, “In the police force, seniors often punish their subordinates for indiscipline. One cannot deny that the lower rank personnel work under tremendous pressure, but such a reaction from a junior is unusual.”