Mumbai: Police station shootout: Senior cop dies, CM orders probe

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Mumbai: A senior police official who was allegedly shot at by his deputy before the latter committed suicide inside a police station in suburban Mumbai, succumbed to his wounds, even as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident.

Fadnavis also said that he has sought a study of the mental condition of the policemen and to accordingly take steps to reduce their stress.

Senior Inspector Vilas Joshi (54) died at a private hospital late last night after Assistant Sub-Inspector Dilip Shirke (55) allegedly shot him and police wireless operator Balasaheb Ahir before turning the gun and shooting himself dead inside the Vakola police station in suburban Santacruz yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Crime Branch and Mumbai Police spokesman Dhananjay Kulkarni said today.

According to hospital sources, Joshi sustained injuries in his upper abdomen and was operated upon by doctors, but could not survive.

Joshi was today cremated with full state honours at South Mumbai’s Chandanwadi crematorium. Many senior police officials, including Maharashtra’s Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, Joint Police Commissioners Deven Bharti and Atul Kulkarni were present at the funeral.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Fadnavis, who holds the Home portfolio, told reporters here that he has asked Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria to conduct a detailed inquiry into the matter.

“ASI Dilip Shirke, who shot at Senior Inspector Vilas Joshi with his service revolver before turning the gun on himself, had taken leave many times earlier. We are trying to find the reasons behind such repeated leaves,” he said.

Fadnavis also said that the mental condition and behaviour of the police officials will be studied and steps will be taken to ease their stress.

“I have given these orders to the Police Commissioner,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Maria said he has ordered a probe into the incident.

“I have ordered an inquiry into the case by the Crime Branch unit,” the Police Commissioner said.

According to preliminary reports, Shirke was absent on Friday, though he was assigned night duty.

When Shirke was reprimanded by his senior Joshi for “irresponsible behaviour,” he allegedly opened fire at him. “He fired at least five rounds, of which three hit Joshi in his back and abdomen, while one hit Ahir in the thigh,” a police official said.

“We have started our investigation, but it is too early to to say anything concrete. Statements of those at the station will be recorded for a thorough investigation,” DCP Kulkarni said earlier today.

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