NAVI MUMBAI: One Police sub-inspector, six personnel, and three informers were thrashed by villagers after they were mistaken and suspected to be thieves when the Police had gone there for an operation to apprehend illegal Bangladeshi immigrants at Kumbadbhuje village in Belapur. The incident turned out to be a nightmare for officials of the Special Branch I of the Mumbai Police. On Tuesday around 3 a.m the team reached the village without intimating the local police. The villagers, who have been facing house break-ins over the past two months were vigilant. The sight of the team who were in civil dress and their secretive way led them to believe that they were a gang of thieves. An official from the team climbed the roof of a house to catch a Bangladeshi who was trying to escape. Villagers who saw that raised an alarm. Since the Police could not show anything as proof that they were Police, the entire village starting in attacking the Police and beat them up”. “We still feel they were thieves and the police are now protecting them. They had nothing to show us to prove their authenticity. What if they used some spray and kidnapped children. The lady from the team was hiding on the first floor of a house. If she was a Policewoman, why did she hide?” Deepali Koli, another resident asked. Senior Inspector Shekhar Bagde from NRI Coastal Police station, was patrolling in Ulwe at the time of the incident. “I got a call and was told that villagers of Kumbadbhuje had nabbed some thieves and I immediately left for the village. After I reached there, I realised that they were not thieves, but Police officials from Mumbai. He added that, the mob was uncontrollable. I tried to convince them that they were Police in civil dress and that the Mumbai officials showed them their ID cards, but the mob was not ready to listen.” Seven police officials and their three informers were finally rescued from the angry mob by a team led by Mr. Kiran Patil , Assistant Police Commissioner, Mr. Prashant Khaire, Deputy Police Commissioner, and a team of Riot Control Force. Mr Shekar Bagde said, “It took around one hour to rescue them. They were admitted to Vashi Municipal Hospital from where three of them were shifted to MGM hospital in Vash”.
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