Dharavi Police arrested three and are on the lookout for the other 18 men, who allegedly lynched a 40-year-old man to death. The incident occurred late on Friday night, where the deceased Afzal Shaikh, 40, was attacked by the accused men with knives, swords. Police said, Afzal had recently questioned the accused over unauthorised construction and had been at loggerheads for over a year.
According to the deceased's brother, Asif, the argument escalated over illegal construction of the accused's residential structure in Dharavi. On Friday, two blocks of bricks from the construction site fell on the road, almost hitting kids playing on the streets. When local residents, including Afzal, approached the owner of the house, she began abusing those who came over to complain and approached police. While Dharavi police lodged a complaint, the matter was settled there.
A few hours later, however, the woman sent over 20 men to question Afzal for abusing her, after which two beat marshall cops dispersed the crowd. Around Saturday midnight, the group of men came again and attacked Afzal with swords, knives and other sharp objects, while the onlookers stood idle. Surprisingly, when the two cops returned, they too ran away without calling for help, alleged Asif.
In the attack, Afzal, who had sustained serious injuries on his back, chest, stomach and head, succumbed in the hospital. Subsequently, a case of murder was registered against the 21 men who lynched him to death, of which three were placed under arrest, said police.
While the accused men were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and other sections of Arms Act, police are on the lookout for the absconding men. The two beat marshall cops, who allegedly fled the spot, will face departmental enquiry.