Posted by Fenil Seta
V Narayan (THE TIMES OF INDIA; August 5, 2018)
Mumbai: In a case of road rage, television actor Rupali Ganguly suffered injuries to her left arm and her five-year-old son and 20-year-old caretaker were left petrified after a biker and the pillion rider abused her and broke the glass of her car’s window and even gave the vehicle a chase on Friday morning.
The incident took place around 8.30am at Bharat Nagar signal junction in Andheri (West) when Ganguly was driving from her Andheri residence to her son’s school and her car reportedly scraped against the bike. None of the onlookers came forward to help despite her pleas. An injured Ganguly first went to drop her son to school but the authorities asked her to take him home as he looked traumatized.
On her way back, Ganguly and her caretaker went to Versova police station to lodge a complaint. Within three hours, biker Mahesh Mokal (30) and pillion rider Akash Dhatkar (22) were traced to their offices in Dahanu and Parel, respectively. They were arrested later in the evening. Ganguly praised police effort.
Deputy commissioner of police (Zone IX) Paramjit Singh Dahiya supervised a team of senior police inspector Ravindra Badguzar, sub-inspector Om Totavar and others who got hold of CCTV footage from the stretch between Bharat Nagar junction and Andheri railway station and identified the duo.
A witness told the police that the duo abused the actor in Marathi. This information helped police track down their residential location in Versova Gaon. “After the two were identified by the victim in the CCTV footage, we went to Versova Gaon. People there identified the two, which helped us to arrest them,” said an officer.
Ganguly told TOI: “Is this the way to threat a woman and a child in a car? The incident occurred after my car rolled ahead and touched the bike, though I had applied the brakes at the signal. The pillion rider first looked back and then the biker hurled abuses. I raised my hands to say sorry. But the pillion rider banged my car. I got worried when the biker punched the glass on the passenger side and broke it in one go and hurled abuses despite my repeated apology. I went blank on seeing blood around my arms after a glass shard hit me. Seeing this, my kid and the caretaker began to cry. The biker did not stop there and also tried to break the glass where my kid and caretaker were seated. I immediately reversed and accelerated. I noticed that the biker chased and even banged my car from behind before I managed to escape.”
Mokal and Dhatkar, who work in courier companies, were produced before Andheri court on Saturday and sent to police custody. “The new police commissioner has given instructions to all to keep a check on street crime,” said Versova senior inspector Badguzar. The two have been released on bail.
That the actor filed a complaint and that prompt action was taken by the cops in this case is welcome. However, what is worrying is that incidents of unruly bikers using intimidation, threats and assault appear to be on the increase. Not only must the law get them before they cause serious harm but passersby must step in and demonstrate citizens' collective power against this menace too.