Residents of Ganeshkripa society in Khar who were forced to vacate their houses for a slum rehabilitation project on Thursday, have accused the police of atrocities.
Residents alleged that Suman Mane, 40, was admitted to a hospital after she suffered from head and neck injuries. Rahul Wadekar, a 15-year-old boy, said the police beat him with a stick. “I was standing on a side, doing nothing but I was beaten on my chest,” said Wadekar.
The incident took place on Thursday during the demolition by the collector’s office. The residents were not allowing demolition because they were refused registered agreements and they did not trust the builder, Shivalik Ventures.
Residents alleged that the policemen present there to protect the demolition squad dragged aged residents out of their homes. “My one-and-a-half-year-old and three-year-old daughters were pulled out of the house by the senior inspector. My 61-year-old mother-in-law was also dragged out,” Sanjana Tandlekar, a resident, alleged.
Another resident, Dutta Mane, said: “My wife was beaten badly on head and neck. My daughters were also mishandled and injured.” The police denied the allegations. “No one was beaten. We did not use sticks to control them,” said senior police inspector Prashant Bagade.
Activists and residents filed a complaint against the police at Nirmal Nagar police station for molestation and brutality. “They acted as agents of the builder. They are supposed to be protecting the public but their actions were contradictory,” said activist Vivek Pandit.
There were no demolitions on Friday because the police force was not available. “We may go for demolition on Monday depending on the availability of force,” deputy collector P Rokade said.
Prakash Azgaonkar of Shivalik Ventures said: “The collector is supposed to demolish as per the high court order or it will be contempt of court. We have not asked them to do anything because we are being blamed for forcible demolition.”