MLA, 16 others held for burning police truck

Prakash Mehta, BJP MLA from Ghatkopar East was arrested on Monday for his alleged role in burning a police tow truck that had mowed down a 50-year-old man in November last year, police said.

Mehta and 16 other associates were summoned to Pant Nagar police station in Ghatkopar East at 11 am on Monday and arrested. They were produced before a magistrate at Vikhroli Court and given bail on a cash bond of Rs 3,000 each.

At 10 am on November 3, 2011, a police tow truck on its way from Ghatkopar to Chembur knocked down one Kirti Mehta. The truck had hit him with such force that he was crushed against a parked tempo several feet away. Mehta was rushed to Rajawadi Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Imran Khan (19), truck driver, was alongwith with a traffic constable Avinash Kadam when he lost control and hit Mehta. While Imran fled, Kadam stayed behind to argue with the mob that had gathered at the spot. As the argument escalated, some members from the mob began pelting stones and set the truck on fire.

Khan and Kadam were arrested and charged with causing death due to negligence. They were convicted in September this year and imprisoned for seven years.

"We had launched an inquiry into the incident and found Prakash Mehta and his associates were guilty of assaulting Kadam and setting the truck on fire. After the inquiry was concluded, we arrested Mehta and 16 others who were part of the mob," said Inspector Jitendra Agarkar of Pant Nagar police station, explaining year-long wait to arrest the rioters.

Prakash Mehta was unavailable for comment.

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