A policeman injured in a mob attack in Latur district on February 20 alleged a local NCP leader led the crowd which surrounded the police chowki (outpost) at Pangaon village and attacked him and his colleagues.
“Dhananjay Chavan was leader of the mob. He gathered people, shut down shops in the village. Chavan is leader of NCP’s tehsil unit. He asked us why they were not allowed to hoist a flag in Ambedkar Chowk,” constable K Awaskar said.
“I was with assistant sub-inspector Yunus Shaikh in the chowki when four people entered. A mob surrounded the chowki. People tried to drag Shaikh out. They threw boards on table and on our heads,” he said.
“I was calling police control on wireless but the mob snatched the set away. They dragged me out and kicked and punched us,” Awaskar said. “I fell down. Some members of the mob ran after me. I asked them why were they assaulting us.
“I knew these people. I told seniors not to send home guards but send police to the spot. There is no Hindu-Muslim element (communal angle) in this attack,” he said.
Sixteen people have been arrested so far over the attack. The mob had targeted two policemen for stopping the locals from hoisting a saffron flag in a communally sensitive area the day before.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said earlier this week that such acts will not be tolerated.
He also asked the DGP and Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde to visit Pangaon. “The government feels that it is not an attack on an individual but on the (entire police) force. Won’t tolerate such act,” the CM said.