The hafta journal has diligently recorded weekly bribes paid to local constables.
The surfacing of a Nagpada paan-stall owner’s diary, containing numbers of several local policemen and details of payments made to them, may lead to an inquiry being ordered into the issue.
The diarist has recorded details of payments collected by the police – popularly known as ‘hafta — in exchange for allowing him to continue running his illegal stall. Photographs of the relevant pages of the diary have gone viral on social media. Senior police officers at Nagpada have confirmed that the numbers listed in the diary belong to constables attached to the police station.
“Several paan-stall owners in Nagpada sell marijuana, charas and bhang, and the constables turn a blind eye to it,” said a police officer. According to the officer, the stall owners pay about Rs 200 a week to different branches of the police station such as the detection wing and the local beat. “The payment also ensures they can keep their shops open late into the night.”
According to the police, they have recovered another diary from a butcher that lists payments made to detection staff from the police station. The payments, ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 500, allow him to operate their stalls without a licence.
“The numbers in the pan-stall owner’s diary belongs to a constable from Nagpada police station, but we are yet to find out if our cops did indeed collect money from the diarist,” a police officer told Mirror.
According to a former police officer, several traders and shop keepers in the city maintain a diary to keep a track of bribes paid to various law enforcement authorities and the BMC. “Scrap vendors, hawkers, illegal mutton stall owners, hoteliers, bars, guest house and tea stall owners, especially who operate at night without permission, are all targeted by these corrupt cops and officials. Plus, pimps, too, pay money every week to the cops in Nagpada to ensure their business runs smoothly.”
“I am yet to get a copy of the diary, though I have seen the photographs on social media. Nobody has registered a complaint yet, but this is a serious development and we are looking into it,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Akhilesh Kumar Singh. Sources told Mumbai Mirror that Singh was livid, and has ordered an enquiry into the issue. The police are trying to get the physical copy of the diary and trace the paan-stall owner.
As Published in Mumbai Mirror