January 2, 2010 by USA Post
100 Rifles:PUNE: The Swargate police have booked 125 labourers for allegedly injuring 12 security guards,
snatching their rifles and firing at them at Market Yard on Friday. Two security guards are undergoing treatment at intensive care unit of Sassoon general hospital. The 10 other guards have escaped with minor injuries.
Around 5.30 am, the guards at gate no. 4 near onion and potato market spotted two persons loitering suspiciously. The guards detained the duo, who worked as labourers, suspecting that they had come to steal onions.
A scuffle soon broke out between the two parties and one of the labourers pulled out a hook used to pick up gunny bags and attacked a guard, but he escape with a minor injury. The duo was taken into custody and brought to the guards’ office, but they were later released with a warning that they should not indulge in such acts again.
Speaking to TOI, senior police inspector Rajkumar Gaikwad of the Swargate police said that the duo threatened to teach the guards a lesson.
“Around 7.45 am, they returned with 100 to 125 labourers and started pelting stones at the guards’ cabin. When the guards came out of the cabin, the labourers started thrashing them. In the melee, two guards Kundal Lal and Suvarna Singh armed with rifles fired one round each in the air to scare the labourers away. However, the labourers snatched the rifles and fired some rounds at the guards, but they missed,” Gaikwad said.
“The labourers also took the rifles kept inside the cabin. They hit the guards with rifle butts, damaged the weapons and fled with several cartridges,” he said.
Gaikwad said that the police have summoned employers of labourers for questioning. The police have identified the injured guards as Kundal Lal, Swarna Singh, Satpal Singh, Pawan Kumar, Balbir Singh, Bablu Yadav, Sadique Shaikh, Ajay Sutar, Kashiram More, Govind Walhekar and Manohar Menkar. The condition of Kundal Lal and Swarna Singh is said to be critical.
There are two labour unions in the market — one led by social activist Baba Adhav and another by Narendra Patil. The agriculture market produce committee (AMPC) had engaged services of Raksha Security from December 21 last year after the contractor of the earlier security agency expired.
Assistant police inspector Krishna Indalkar said that the labourers were booked for committing an offence of rioting, forming an unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, attempted murder, dacoity and possessing weapons under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Arms Act.
An injured security guard Govind Walekar (19) of Ambedkar slums has registered complaint against 125 labourers. Walvekar’s complaint said that there were 17 guards and four supervisors on duty and they were in possession of 12 bore rifles and cartridges when the incident took place.
Meanwhile, the police have identified 17 suspects. They are Namdeo Sawte, Hanumant Moragje, Sharad Shinde, Raju Rugam, Sachin Dalvi, Ankush Bhagat, Sadhu Saheb, Deepak Majane, Mahipatrao Tande, Fakir Gade, Rajendra Kudpate, Bhagwan Bhagat, Raju Bhagat, Sameer Bhargude, Dnyaneshwar Khopade, Balu Jadhav and Balu Suryavanshi.
The labourers union president Narendra Patil said that he had little information about the incident and he was also collecting details about what happened between the two parties.
APMC administrator Shailesh Kothmire said that the tussle took place due to a trivial issue. The security firm has registered a complaint and the police will look into the issue, he added. The security firm proprietor major G K Patil (retd) was not available for comments.
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