Drunk trio abducts Mumbai traffic cop in car; 2 arrested in Vikhroli
A 35-year-old traffic police constable was allegedly abducted and held hostage in a car for a brief period, by a group of three men on Tuesday morning. The constable had sat in the accused’s car to initiate action against them for drink-driving and obstruction of traffic on the eastern express highway (EEH) in Ghatkopar.
Vikas Munde, 35, a constable attached with the Chembur traffic division was manning the traffic along with two others at Chedda Nagar junction in Ghatkopar.
Around 10am, a couple of motorists stopped alerted them to three occupants in a car who appeared to have dozed off in the stationary vehicle on the north-bound stretch of the highway.
“The car was parked in the middle of the road in the second lane and was obstructing traffic,” said Shahji Umap, deputy commissioner of police (traffic).
Police suspect the driver of the car, identified as Viraj Shinde, 21, was inebriated and may have dozed off after the car halted at the signal. Munde walked to the signal to check the car and asked Shinde and the two passengers Gaurav Panjwani, 23, and Raj, to move the car to the side of the road.
Munde sat in the car fearing that the driver may speed away. Despite having the constable in the vehicle, Shinde accelerated and kept driving. “I warned them and asked to stop in Marathi but the driver kept on driving,” said Munde. “I was in uniform and kept telling him to stop the vehicle. I warned them of the consequences.”
Two other traffic constables, who noticed Munde being driven away, alerted the police control room. After five minutes, the car stopped before the Vikhroli junction and Raj, who was seated next to the driver, got down and escaped on foot. A team of police officers, including Venkat Patil, assistant commissioner of police (traffic), who happened to be in Vikhroli at the time, reached the spot and Shinde and Panjwani were caught.
“The trio are residents of Ghodbunder Road in Thane and had gone to Grant Road where they consumed alcohol. We found a bottle of alcohol in the car,” said Patil.
The trio has been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 363 (kidnapping), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation) and Motor Vehicle Act section 185 (driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs).