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Mumbai,Divyesh Nair,Radhika Ramaswamy: In a shocking indication of high stress-levels in the ranks of Mumbai police, an Assistant Sub Inpsector (ASI) allegedly shot his senior police inspector (Sr.PI), an orderly of the Sr.PI and then shot himself dead on Saturday evening inside the Vakola police station in Santacruz (East).
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria at Vakola Station. Nikhil Dixit
Sr. PI Vilas Joshi, was who admitted in the critical care unit of Lilavati hospital in Bandra after three bullet injuries on his kidney, knee and arm, was declared dead at 1:30 am. While Shirke shot himself from point blank range. The orderly, Balasaheb Ahir sustained a bullet injury on his thigh.
“ASI Dilip Shirke was declared dead before admission to the hospital,” said Mumbai police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of police (DCP) Dhananjay Kulkarni.
Blood spatter at Vakola station. Image credit: Nikhil Dixit / dna
According to the police, the incident happened on Saturday evening, after Shirke had an argument with Joshi over a diary remark made against the former’s name. Shirke was put on-duty on Friday night, he however remained absent on duty. “His colleagues telephoned him twice in the night around 12.30am and 4.30am, but his phone was unavailable,” said a police officer. “Since Shirke did not report to work, a station diary entry was made against his name for remaining absent from work without permission,” the officer added.
Mumbai Police Commissioner, Rakesh Maria said that when Shirke came to the police station on Saturday morning, he saw the diary entry made against his name. Shirke was reportedly furious at this and blamed the night officer incharge for unnecessarily harassing him.
“During the day, Shirke also told a few of his colleagues how he was being harassed by his superiors,” said a police officer from Vakola police station.
At around 8.40 pm, Shirke approached Joshi and complained about his alleged harassment. Joshi, however, told him that since he was absent from duty, the diary entry against his name was justified. “An argument ensued between the two,” an officer said.
Infuriated and in a fit of rage, Shirke removed his 9mm service revolver and shot three rounds at Joshi. “One bullet hit Joshi in his kidney, another hit his knee and the third bullet bruised his arm. A stray bullet hit Ahir. Before anyone in the police station could react, Shirke shot two bullets at himself from point blank range,” said a police officer.
Within an hour, a virtually shocked top brass of Mumbai police, including Maria, rushed to Vakola police to take stock of the situation. “Crime branch has been handed over the investigations into the case,” said additional commissioner of police, KMM Prasanna.
Dr Harish Shetty, Psychiatrist, said “This has been waiting to happen. It’s high time mental health check up is made mandatory for policemen to be carried out periodically, for the safety of policemen and public. The police force is a dehumanised force with a lot of expectations, without problems like housing and other basic needs being addressed to by the government, incidents like these and suicides on duty or dying of cardiac arrest will continue to occur. Suicide and aggression are sides of the same coin, they need to be addressed for the safety of the public at large.