Officers investigating the Malad double murder complain off the record that the crucial period after the crime was lost since they had to spend a major part of Thursday managing a crowd of nearly 500 people that had taken to the streets on SV road in Malad.
The local police along with crime branch officers had to be roped in to contain the mob comprising members of the Bishnoi community, to which the deceased belonged.
They had got along the bodies of the two deceased and refused to perform the last rites until home minister RR Patil promised them that the perpetrators will be brought to book. The situation was diffused after over two hours when police commissioner Arup Patnaik, accompanied by joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy, assured the crowd that the case will be solved within eight days.
Members of the community gathered at New Era theatre at around 11.45am and marched to the junction on SV road leading to the Malad police station, causing a major traffic jam on the busy junction. Kishore Bishnoi, one of the protestors, said, “We are worried about our safety. Every few months, we hear about a jeweller being attacked. We perform our duties as good citizens, but what has the state done for us? Is it not their responsibility to ensure our safety?”
Another protestor who did not wish to be named said, “This is becoming a regular phenomenon and a message needs to be sent out that you cannot kill people in broad daylight.” It was only after the crowd took the bodies to a crematorium that the assembled policemen returned to the police station to begin investigation.