Demolition drive in Kondhwa: PMC official, 5 cops injured as residents pelt stones to avoid eviction
The anti-encroachment squad (AES) of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) which had gone to demolish unauthorised shanties and tenements came under attack from the residents of the encroached area.
The incident happened at Survey No 46 in Gokulnagar on Katraj-Kondhwa road in Kondhwa where an irate and unruly mob pelted stones and hurled abuses at the officials for attempting to evict them from the encroached area. According to the Kondhwa police, five JCBs were damaged, one PMC official and five policemen escaped with minor injuries. One fire tender came under attack before the police could arrive at the scene.
Fire brigade officials maintained that Kondhwa fire man Abhijit Thalkar attached to the Kondhwa fire station was physically assaulted with a bamboo stick and is currently recuperating in the hospital.
Policemen in large numbers were deployed to avoid the situation from going out of hand. Kondhwa police station in-charge Milind Gaikwad said that a First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged against unidentified persons under Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“PMC conducted the demolition drive in order to construct a water tank in the area. Around 10 am, an irate mob started hurling stones at the PMC officials in a bid to stop them in their tracks. One PMC staffer was injured, five JCBs were damaged. The situation is under control and policemen are patrolling the area to avoid further outbreak of violence,” Gaikwad said.
Fire brigade chief Prashant Ranpise said, “Thalkar was assaulted with a bamboo stick and has been admitted to a hospital. The incidents of attacks on fire brigade officials are increasing by the day and we expect more protection and safety for our staffers,” he added.
Deputy commissioner Madhav Jagtap, in a release, stated that PMC had earlier cleared the area, a government land occupied by illegal shanties on February 24 and constructed a compound wall around the area to ward-off encroachment. The area was reoccupied by the evicted people and shanties came up again after which a fresh crackdown was ordered on March 15.
“The Kondhwa police are investigating the case further,” Jagtap stated.