While the flourishing dens of betting and gambling have raised high the concern of rising crime rate in the city, it is ironical to see a political party jumping in to support his own men caught in the act. In a similar such incident, it turned out that some BJP leaders tried to cast their influence over cops in order to save their supporters out of police net. However the party workers countered the allegation saying that the cops applied excess on them, owing to which they had to call up their superiors. Remarkably, the incident was abuzz with social media drive launched by a cop.
The involvement of city BJP general secretary and corporator Sandeep Joshi was apparent in the entire incident as he appeared at Rana Pratap Nagar police station on Sunday to bail out BJP slum cell leader Sahebrao Manohare, who was caught gambling at his Subhash Nagar residence.
Joshi was accompanied by BJP corporator Omprakash Yadav alias Munna, South-West Nagpur’s Kishor Wankhede and others who raised slogans against cops at the police station. Not long ago, BJP’s image had suffered a blow after their corporator Ramesh Punekar, a repeat offender, was arrested from a gambling den in East Nagpur earlier this month.
Though Joshi claimed that his protest was regarding police highhandedness, his party workers created ruckus at Rana Pratap Nagar police station to pressurize the cops. Their behaviour raises questions on the morality of such action, as the issue involved a gambling den. Police have registered an offence of gambling and obstructing government officials in discharge their duties against Manohare.
Sources from the police station said that Charlie commandos— Dharmendra Yadav and Sandeep Dhongre — had spotted some people in mysterious circumstances at the residence of Manohare at 6pm. The cops, suspecting gambling and informed the control room to send reinforcements for a raid. There was a long delay in response from Rana Pratap Nagar police station for reasons best known to them.
Though city police chief KK Pathak has cancelled leaves for festival period, senior PI Awdesh Tripathi of Rana Pratap Nagar police station was not present until the matter snowballed in the evening.
While waiting for reinforcement, Yadav and Dhongre were soon outnumbered by Manohare and his accomplices, who started thrashing the cops.. It is learnt that walkie-talkie with Yadav also ran out of battery. Dhongre managed to get support from an officer, who was not on duty, by calling him up on the mobile phone. The officer himself rushed to the spot. It was much later that cops from Rana Pratap Nagar police station reached the spot to support Yadav and Dhongre.
BJP leader Joshi said the police thrashed Manohare all the way to the police station, which is not correct, and also misbehaved with Wankhede when he reached the spot. “I am only concerned about the inappropriate way police handles common citizens. One may be an offender, but that cannot justify police thrashing,” he said.
DCP Zone-I Avinash Kumar has been trying to play safe as he commented that probe would be conducted keeping allegation from both sides in mind. He said, “Police would also look into the allegations levelled against the constables for thrashing. I would also try to look into the fact whether there was a delay in response time.”