Assistant sub inspector Dattu Sarnobat is battling for his life at Bombay Hospital. The 53-year-old cop from Kherwadi police station was badly injured when he attempted to prevent a car jacking at the Bandra-Mahim bridge early on Friday morning. The police have arrested two of the five accused.
At around 3.30am on Friday, Sarnobat and his colleague were patrolling the area when they spotted six men standing next to two cars — a white Indica and a red Swift Dzire — parked near the bridge. One of them, Kaushal Tiwari, 30, called out for help. He shouted that the men were trying to steal his Swift Dzire.
Sarnobat got off, but before he could reach the spot, the accused pushed Tiwari to the floor and got into the Dzire. They hit Sarnobat who landed on the car’s bonnet.
“It was horrific. When the accused were driving away, they hit Sarnobat. He was knocked off his feet and landed on the bonnet of the car. He struggled on the bonnet for 15 feet before the speeding vehicle threw him off,” said a policeman who witnessed the incident.
Sarnobat was rushed to Bhabha hospital, and later shifted to Bombay Hospital. Meanwhile, the global positioning system (GPS) in the Dzire led the police to Vakola pipeline where they caught two of the accused, Raju Jha, 24, and Anil Tichki, 19.
The other three — Siraj Ansali and Bablu Sheth, and another accomplice— managed to escape, said the police.
Police said that the five accused are history-sheeters with several cases of robberies registered against them at various police stations.
Even the white Indica they were travelling in was stolen. Jha and Tichki had also been externed from the city recently.
Tiwari, in a statement to the police, said that he had stopped at the bridge to relieve himself when the five accused, who were stranded because their Indica had broken down, accosted him. They threatened him with swords and asked him to leave the car.
“The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 307 for attempt to murder, 333 for voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from duty, 392 for robbery, 394 for voluntarily causing hurt while committing robbery, 397 for robbery with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt and 34 for common intent. Investigations are on,” said A Chawan, senior inspector of the Kherwadi police.