‘I could see them tossing policemen up and down’

Policemen trying to control the rioting mob at Azad Maidan on Saturday afternoon were among the 50-odd people who sustained injuries in the incident, mostly due to getting hit on their heads, legs, backs and stomach by stone pelters. Of the 54 injured, 45 were policemen. Eight of these policemen sustained serious head injuries.

Although their condition was reported to be stable, some police officers and constables had suffered injuries on their skull after being hit by blunt, but hard objects. The injured were rushed to the nearby Gokuldas Tejpal and St George hospitals.

Anil Chavan, a 22-year-old constable, suffered injuries on his thighs and abdomen when an angry mob attacked with sticks, helmets and stones. "After setting the media van on fire, the crowd went furious and started manhandling a policeman. I could see them tossing the policeman up and down several times. I, along with about eight others, immediately rushed to help the policeman. They wouldn't let us. Suddenly a huge mob came from behind us and started attacking us with helmets, rods, whatever they could get their hands on," Chavan, who is usually posted at the Mumbai Police headquarters, said.

Digambar Hundekar, a constable, was hit by stones on his head while trying to control the mob. "I was stationed at Azad Maidan when the mob suddenly turned violent and started torching cars and pelting stones," said Hundekar, who was sitting with his head heavily bandaged. "I am fine now except for a severe headache."

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