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36 police, BMC officials suspended for graft

Mumbai / Pune: As many as 36 or 37 police officers, constables as well as employees and officers of BMC (Bombay Municipal Corporation) were suspended for accepting bribes. When this news appeared in local newspapers Maharashtra’s home minister RR Patil ordered their suspension in compliance of which Mumbai Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh suspended 37 police personnel including senior police inspector of Nehru Nagar (Mumbai) police station Dhananjay Bhagyatkar, and two Asstt Police sub-inspectors (ASIs). The minister also said that a departmental enquiry would be made and if proved guilty, strict action would be taken against all of them. According to another newspaper, a day after their suspension, 7 other constables were also suspended for helping groups of criminals who were looting godowns along the Pune-Ahmad Nagar Highway. It is alleged that these police constables, after taking commissions from these criminals, used to allow their trucks which were transporting red sandal wood to pass without checking.

According to one Muhammad Qasim Abdul Ghafoor Khan, a social worker, after minister RR Patil’s order for suspension of these police and BMC officials, he (Qasim) received many calls on his mobile from unknown persons (threatening) him of killing him or implicating him in different criminal cases by secretly putting arms and intoxicants in his house. He said that he lodged also complaints with / at police stations regarding these threatening calls but they (policemen) did not apparently show any interest in his complaints because no one contacted him after his complaints.

Explaining things in detail he said that he is in house building trade and also masonry. He said that in Chembur (Kurla East)’s Thakkar Baba Nagar a camp or colony was built for people of Sindhi Samaj who had gone to Pakistan in the early days of partition but shortly thereafter had come back to India (Mumbai) and wanted to live here. Some camps or colonies were built for them in Milind, Koli Wada, Chembur etc and small rooms of 10’x10’ were built for them in these colonies but after many years these were felt to be much smaller than their present requirement and hence work for their extension was going on illegally i.e. without permission of BMC. He said that policemen and BMC authorities knew about these illegal constructions. They used to come every 2 or 3 days and demanded money, ranging from 100 to 150 rupees for each person. Being fed up with their daily harassment and demand for money he wanted to expose them and with the help of his son, got a camera fitted in a wall which secretly recorded them accepting bribes. In this way he said that he had spent about Rs. 45000. Subsequently the video footage of bribe taking was given to local police commissioner who started taking action against them on the basis of photos secretly recorded in the camera and recommended that action be taken against all of them and they may be suspended.

Another newspaper report said that a former Deputy IG of Police A. K. Jain was caught by Anti-Corruption Bureau accepting a bribe. The court had sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs. 1.5 lakh.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2013 on page no. 15

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