One constable is suspended, three other cops attached to police HQ
Nagpur: The Men in Khaki who are universally known to be “Haptha” gobblers in one way or the other seem to be stealing headlines for another nasty reason. Certain species of cops attached to Sitabuldi Police Station reportedly have emerged “robbers” of roadside vendors in the form of enjoying food stuff at no cost and sometimes even the cash as well. “Free partying.” The cops on duty during the Chief Minister’s visits wreak havoc by tormenting the roadside eateries. One such incident came to light wherein Sitabuldi police displayed their shoddy face. Nagpur Today report on the sordid episode.
A 21-year old Lokesh (name changed) sweats hard in the day time by running tea and ‘poha’ tapri (stall) in Ramdaspeth area and in the evening attends MCom classes at Dr Ambedkar College with a dream of making a decent career. A few days back, the Chief Minister had a programme at a renowned hotel in the area and the area was naturally dotted with heavy deployment of policemen. On that day, a few policemen in ‘mufti’ (sans regular uniform) arrived at Lokesh’s tapri for ‘enjoying’ spicy poha. After the bellyful “nashta” the cops started treading the return path but without paying the bill. When Lokesh demanded the bill, the cops were taken aback by the “demand” but seeing a lot of other customers at the spot, they cleared the bill, but nasty designs in their mind as they clicked Lokesh on their mobile phones. And the next Sunday, the nasty designs in their mind came to light. A police van stopped in front of Lokesh’s tapri and some men in khaki, without uttering a word, took Lokesh, his employees and uncle to Sitabuldi Police Station. In Police Station, the scary words fell on Lokesh’s ears. “Do you don’t recognize policemen?” “How do you dare to take money from them.” He also received threats of imminent action against him.
In Sitabuldi Police Station, Lokesh along with his uncle was forced to sit there for hours. “If moolah of Rs 15,000 is not paid not only they will be detained but his tapri will also be ‘lifted’ in encroachment drive” were the next words. Scared to the core, Lokesh and his uncle anyhow managed Rs 9000 and thrust on the greedy palms of the cops. The greasing helped them leave the police station. Surprisingly, Lokesh and his uncle were handed over a “receipt” by the shrewd policemen as challan charge towards encroachment on road in order to hide their illegal act.
When Nagpur Today tried to contact Sitabuldi Police Inspector Satyavir Bandiwar for his comments on the sordid episode, he preferred to snub the calls with no response.
However, when the “robbing” of the poor tapri vendor got exposed, higher officials swung into action. The episode took the toll of a tainted Constable who was reportedly suspended and three other cops were attached to Police Headquarters. The “toll” may rise as and the in-depth probe makes headway. It is learnt that Lokesh and his uncle are being pressured to keep their mouths shut and “not damage the image of police.”
The Sitabuldi ACP Somnath Waghchaure, when contacted by Nagpur Today, said that he has received orders from DCP Zone 2 to investigate the matter thoroughly. “I have recorded statements of some cops. Further probe is going on,” the ACP said.