Mumbai

Three Dharavi constables held for graft

Civilian who accepted money on their behalf also arrested

The Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Saturday arrested three police constables from the Dharavi police station for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe from a street food stall owner. A civilian, who allegedly accepted the money on their behalf, has also been arrested.

Mysterious call

According to ACB officers, the complainant, a Mumbra resident, had set up a stall to sell biryani, pulao and kebabs at the 90 Feet Road in Dharavi on January 13. A day after he started his business, another vendor in the area told him that police constable Sandip Rane had called him to Dharavi police station.

“The complainant visited the police station and met Mr. Rane, and police constables Mukund Shinde and Sanjay Talekar. Mr. Shinde was posted as the orderly to senior police inspector Suresh Patil, who is in charge of the police station. During the meeting, the policemen demanded ₹32,000 from the complainant,” an ACB officer said.

The officer said the accused even gave a “break-up” to the complainant, saying that ₹6,000 would go to Mr. Patil, ₹12,000 would be distributed among four assistant police inspectors equally, ₹5,000 would be paid to four beat marshalls, ₹3,000 to personnel on board each of the police station’s three patrolling vehicles and ₹6,000 between the three of them, equally.

The complainant approached the ACB’s Mumbai unit and submitted a written complaint against them. During preliminary inquiries, it was confirmed that the three accused constables had demanded the bribe and negotiated the amount down to ₹25,000. “Based on this, we laid a trap and sent the complainant to the police station on Saturday with ₹25,000. Mr. Rane was out at the time but the other two accused told the complainant to hand over the money to Pratik Mehar, who runs a cake shop across the street from the police station,” the officer said.

As soon as Mr. Mehar accepted the money, ACB teams, which were waiting nearby, arrested him, Mr. Shinde and Mr. Talekar. Mr. Rane, too, was arrested later in the day, and all four were charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Officers said searches are currently under way at the offices and residences of all the three constables, and that an inventory of their assets will be made to be compared against their income.

Others involved?

“The claims of the other personnel, including Mr. Shinde, getting a cut are still being verified,” an officer said.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 9:16:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/three-dharavi-constables-held-for-graft/article30597326.ece

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