Thief beats unarmed police constable to death in Mumbai

Constable Ajay Gawand, 43, who intercepted a thief, was beaten to death with a wooden plank. The murder occurred after a Petrol Pump employee noticed Santosh Salve, 35, sneak into the first floor from behind the BPCL building at 2.30 am and informed his bosses who called police. The control room intimated a Dongri police patrol team who followed the intruder to the building and when Salve saw them he locked himself on the terrace and started pelting onlookers with stones. The police team leader appealed to Salve to surrender then the team led by Constable Gawand went to the second floor and found Salve had bolted the terrace door with a slab of wood. Gawand climbed to the terrace but Salve who was hiding in the dark repeatedly struck him with the plank injuring him seriously. While police eventually nabbed Salve, a badly bleeding Gawand was taken to hospital but was declared dead a few minutes after admission. Salve has been booked for assault murder and rioting. Gawand who had won the Shiv Chhatrapati Body Building Award in 2005, is survived by his wife and a school-going son. The Maharashtra CM announced a cash reward for his family and recommended a posthumous gallantry award for Gawand. The Mumbai police commissioner and CM reassured the family of Gawand's full salary, his son's education, and a government job for his wife. The incident has raised questions on why none of the police team had any weapons despite being on night patrol.