A feud between two families over parking space culminated in a brutal attack on Tuesday night, claiming the life of two brothers.
Their sister, 23-year-old Preeti's vacation at her parent's home with her year-old daughter turned into a nightmare, when she watched her kin being attacked viciously by six members of the Sharma family.
The assailants wielded swords, choppers, knives and rods when they barged into the Singh home at Veer Savarkar Nagar in Sakinaka, Andheri on Tuesday night. The attack was the consequence of a severe animosity between the two families over parking space.
Preeti, who lives in Uttar Pradesh since her wedding, had arrived in Mumbai a few days ago with her infant.
Preeti said, "The family was having dinner at 10.30 pm. While my brother Avinash ate with us, our younger sibling Ashish was watching TV upstairs. Suddenly, six people stormed into our house and attacked Avinash".
"My mother pushed me and my child under the bed, and I watched as they mercilessly stabbed Avinash. A woman, who was wielding a sword, went upstairs and dragged Ashish down, and stabbed him relentlessly. My parents raised the alarm, but no one came to our rescue. My parents managed to escape by running out of the house", she added.
Locals alerted the police, after which Avinash , Ashish and their parents were rushed to Rajawadi hospital. Avinash was already dead by the time he was brought in, and Ashish breathed his last at the hospital.
Jitender, the father of the deceased, was shifted to Seven Hills hospital and is being treated in the ICU, while their mother Chandrakala has also sustained stab wounds. Last night, Sakinaka police arrested Rakesh Sharma and his wife Sunita Sharma on charges of murder. The other family members who attacked the Singhs - Sonu Sharma , Rajesh Sharma , Pintu alias Kaliya and Sunil Sharma - are still at large.
The feud was sparked off about 10 days before the incident, when the Sharmas allegedly broke the window shields of the dumper truck and auto rickshaws owned by the Singhs, and threatened to set fire to the vehicles as well as members of the Singh family.
On Monday night, things took another grim turn. Ramesh Singh, a local said, "On Monday night, the paternal uncle of the deceased, Mahendra Singh got into a violent scuffle with one of the accused Rakesh Sharma over parking.
Rakesh and two of his friends assaulted Mahendra with a rod, hitting him on his head. Avinash and Ashish, who were present, called the police, and Rakesh and his friends were arrested. They were released on bail on Tuesday, and decided to attack the Singhs to exact revenge."
The accused are allegedly notorious local goons. "The accused and their family members were forcing auto drivers to pay them hafta if they wanted to retain their parking space. In the past too, they paraded an auto driver naked in their area after he refused to pay them. Such was their reign of terror that most of the auto drivers even feared to ply their vehicles in their area," said a local on condition of anonymity.
Senior Inspector Samadhan Danedar of the Sakinaka police station said, "On the basis of primary investigations it seems to be a case of violence based on previous hostility. They were produced at court and have been remanded to police custody."