Elderly man beaten to death in late-night fracas in Bandra

Seven, including husband of local corporator, arrested

The BKC police have arrested seven accused, including the husband of a local corporator, in connection with the murder of a Bandra resident on Friday night.

The BKC police said the victim, Babu Zafar, was allegedly beaten to death at 11.15 p.m. in Bharat Nagar on Friday. The police said Shalem Qureshi, the husband of corporator Gulnaz Qureshi, confronted Mohammed Rafiq Sheikh, a resident of the locality, over a video he had put up on Facebook.

Senior police inspector Kalpana Gadekar said, “Every week, Mr. Sheikh uploads a video of his take on local issues. On Friday, he uploaded a video in which he alleged there was a nexus between corporator Gulnaz and a local builder. The video angered her husband and he arrived at Mr. Sheikh’s house with several others to confront him.”

Ms. Gadekar said matters got heated and Mr. Qureshi’s accomplices started assaulting Mr. Sheikh. At this point, Zafar, Mr. Sheikh’s neighbour, intervened, but he was severely beaten up with iron rods. He collapsed after taking several blows to the head and was rushed to Bhabha Hospital in Bandra, where he was declared dead before admission.

Angry residents

Meanwhile, residents informed the BKC police station about the altercation. Several teams were soon sent to the spot and they started picking up the assailants. As news about Zafar’s death spread through the locality, a mob of residents gathered at the police station demanding speedy justice. Rumours on social media added fuel to the fire. Reports ranging from a murder being committed by the builder lobby to the police resorting to a lathicharge started doing the rounds.

Paramjit Singh Dahiya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IX), who is holding additional charge of Zone VIII, denied that there was any lathicharge. the mob finally dispersed after two hours when the police gave assurances that everything possible was being done to ensure justice.

On Saturday morning, the police registered a case of murder, rioting, unlawful assembly and criminal intimidation against 22 accused, and arrested seven, including Mr. Qureshi.

An officer with the BKC police said, “Teams are still working on tracing and apprehending the remaining accused. We have also stepped up patrolling in the locality to prevent any untoward incidents as tempers are still quite high.”

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