Drunk men ‘kidnap’ traffic constable

Crime on wheels: The Honda City in which three men fled with a police constable, after it was seized at Vikhroli on Tuesday.  

The busy Chheda Nagar signal on the Eastern Express Highway was witness to high drama on Tuesday morning, after three young men, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, sped away with a traffic police constable who had entered their vehicle to penalise them.

Amidst frantic calls about the constable being ‘kidnapped’, the traffic police intercepted the vehicle at Vikhroli and handed the accused over to the Tilak Nagar police.

According to police sources, constable Vikas Munde (30), posted with the Chembur traffic division, was on duty at the Chheda Nagar signal when some motorists drew his attention to a Honda City that had stopped in the middle of the busy road, obstructing traffic.

The motorists told Mr. Munde the three occupants of the car appeared to be asleep, and the traffic constable went over to investigate, thinking they might be unwell or in need of help.

“Mr. Munde tapped the window and woke all three of them up, after which he realised they were drunk. Two of them were in the front seat, while the third was in the rear. Mr. Munde got into the rear seat, which is a frequent practice lest an errant motorist tries to flee, and was about to start the penalisation process when the driver started the car,” a senior officer with the Mumbai traffic police said.

While two other constables on duty watched in surprise, the car started speeding towards Thane. The constables scrambled for their wireless sets and sent out an alert, saying one of their colleagues had been ‘kidnapped’ and that the vehicle was ‘fleeing’ towards Thane. The alert was picked up by several units nearby. Senior traffic police officers who were making routine rounds at the time turned their vehicles around and sped to the highway.

Meanwhile, police stations along the highway rushed to set up barricades at strategic locations.

After 10 minutes of frantic efforts, which included stopping every vehicle and checking for a uniformed policeman in the back seat, the vehicle was intercepted close to Vikhroli. While one of the three managed to flee, the other two were brought to the Tilak Nagar police station, in whose jurisdiction the ‘abduction’ occurred.

The duo, identified as Viraj Shinde and Gaurav Panjwani, confessed they were heavily drunk. “The trio had spent the entire night drinking and reached the Chheda Nagar signal in the morning. The signal is quite long during peak hours and we suspect they simply fell asleep while waiting for it to change,” an officer said.

The third accused, identified as Raj Singh, was subsequently traced and arrested based on the interrogation of the other two. The police said all three are residents of Ghodbunder Road in Thane.

“We have charged them with kidnapping, deterring a public servant from discharging his duty and public nuisance under the Indian Penal Code, and driving under the influence of alcohol under the Motor Vehicles Act,” said senior police inspector Sushil Kamble, Tilak Nagar police station.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 2:19:50 PM |

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