Hindu Cop Attacked by two Muslim boys died in Mumbai hospital; Police tried to hush up the case

On 23rd August, Vilas Shinde, a 52-year-old traffic cop was attacked by two Muslim boys in Mumbai’s Khar West area. Why? Just because he was performing his duty allotted to him by his seniors who probably spend most part of their day sitting inside their air-conditioned, wooden themed office.

The news story about this incident did manage to get a small column in newspapers on 24th August. Out of the two boys, one is a juvenile (17-year-old) and the other one is 19-year-old, Ahmed Momhaad Ali Qureshi. The incident took place at 4PM on that day. Both boys belong to the peaceful community, and according to sources, this is the reason cops and leftist journalists have not released the adult suspect’s name in their news stories about the incident. But, they were not able to stop Raj Thackeray from sharing details with journalists.

Why did these siblings attack Shinde?

According to reports published in Indian Express and Mid-Day, Milind Bharambe, Joint Commissioner of Police for Mumbai West has deputed cops at every petrol pump in Mumbai to collect address, telephone number, name, and vehicle details from every vehicle owner who comes at the fuel pumps. This has irked many vehicle owners, especially women, who do not wish to share their personal details with cops.

Sources from police who interacted with journalists suggested that the 17-year-old boy started a verbal argument with the cop and was not willing to share any personal details when asked to do so at the SV Road based petrol pump.  The juvenile boy quickly called up his elder brother Ahmed, whose residence is near the concerned petrol pump, and both of them attacked constable Shinde with a wooden stick on his head. CCTV footage from the pump is available with police, but they are not releasing the same as they believe it can hurt communal harmony.

Constable Shinde battled for his life at Mumbai’s Lilavati hospital and his struggle ended on 31st August. The juvenile suspect has been sent to Dongri children’s home (the same one where “˜peaceful’ juvenile culprits from Mumbai photojournalist rape case were sent). The adult suspect is still absconding, at the time of writing this report.

“˜They”™ are an important vote bank

Journalists started giving more attention to the case only when MNS Chief Raj Thackeray visited Lilavati hospital and assured the Shinde family that they would get justice. Media was hiding the truth, but MNS chief (who is on election mode for BMC elections) spilled the beans.

“One traffic cop was attacked with a rod on his head by two Muslim boys; he was in a coma from 23rd August. Here, the attackers were Muslims and the victim was Marathi (Hindu). Why didn’t any minister go to meet his family? Why is state’s CM Devendra Fadnavis (who also holds home portfolio) silent on the issue? No one cared about constable Shinde. But everyone would have rushed to the hospital if a Hindu cop would have had attacked two Muslim boys. All politicians simply love playing vote bank politics,”-said MNS chief during his recent interaction with the public. He also pointed out that mobs of Muslim boys drive sports bikes recklessly on highways around Mumbai every night, but cops and government do not take action against them because they are an important vote bank.

Someone in the police wanted to hush up the case?

It’s obvious that cops cannot release the name of the minor suspect. But why is it that they were not willing to release the adult suspect’s name until 31st August? Declaring his name as absconded suspect would help police to nab him with public’s help. Even the victim’s family members complained to journalists about government’s attempt to hush up the case.

Mainstream media made a lot of noise when a Muslim cop was attacked in Maharashtra’s Latur for not allowing people to hoist a saffron flag. Even BJP’s state CM Devendra Fadnavis made a lot of noise. Now the question is, why is media not organizing debates to discuss how a Hindu was attacked by two Muslim (misguided, in Barkha’s words) youths? Why did CM decide to meet Shinde family on August 31st only after Raj Thackeray taunted him for not doing so? I guess the answer is the fact that victim was Hindu and culprits are Muslims.

Nitten Gokhaley

(Consultant Journalist)