Tuesday, May 31, 2005

City police force to get 3,000 more cops

The additional strength is expected to decrease the stress levels in the police force

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The city police can heave a sigh of relief now. The Maharashtra government will be recruiting as many as 11,500 new policemen from across the state this year. While over 3,000 of them will be posted in Mumbai in the next few
months, the rest will be absorbed in the newly formed departments like the Cyber Crime Investigation Cells (CCIC).

According to director general of police P S Pasricha, the recruitment drive is being carried out as part of home minister R R Patil’s decision to induct 56,000 new policemen from all over the state in the next five years. “Every year
11,500 new policemen will be recruited by the state police,’’ Pasricha said.

Sources said long-duty hours and irregular weekly offs have been leading to a significant rise in cases of suicide in the “depressed’’ police force. Fresh recruitments will help the existing staff to take a day off, at
least once in 15 days, they pointed out.

“We are going to start new CCICs in Thane, Nagpur and Pune. Though cyber crimes have been increasing in these three cities, we have only once cell to tackle such cases. The new CCICs will help the local police to crack down on cyber crimes effectively,’’ Pasricha said.
The state police
is also planning to form economic offences wings (EOWs) in several cities. The city EOW, busy with economic crimes cases only, registers over 100 cases a year.

However, the conviction rate of the department is the lowest as compared to other branches. Also, over a thousand policemen will be posted in the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF).

The Times of India, May 31, 2005

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Tarannum, bookies remanded to judicial custody till Oct 10

Tarannum’s lawyers had asked for bail saying no progress had been made by the police in the case. However, the court remanded the bar dancer to further custody on Wednesday


scrutiny to a forensic laboratory in Hyderabad to investigate Tarannum’s links with cricket bookies. Opposing the bail plea, the prosecution had said that the accused could tamper with evidence if released.

Tarannum’s lawyers had asked for bail saying that no progress had been made by the police in its investiga-
Mumbai: A metropolitan court on Wednesday sent bar dancer Tarannum and two other alleged bookies into judicial custody till October 10.

Tarannum was in police custody since September 16 and has been booked under the Information Technology Act and also for gambling,
c r i m i n a l conspiracy and hacking. tions since her arrest and no new material had been placed before the court. Along with the dancer, the bookies, DJ and Parmar, were also sent to judicial custody till October 10.

Meanwhile, the police are probing Tarannum’s visits to France, South Africa and Switzerland. However, the police is yet to produce any concrete evidence regarding the trips.

The crime branch had arrested Tarannum, a former dancer at Deepa Bar in Vile Parle, and two alleged bookies, Milind Dheeraj Nandul alias DJ and Pradeep Parmar, for placing and taking bets in cricket matches.

The prosecution argued that investigation into the matter was still on and records had been sent for

Bar girls to be questioned By Mateen Hafeez/TNN
Mumbai: The team probing the bar-bookie nexus have come across names of several dancers believed to be richer than Tarannum Khan. Their links to the betting syndicate are being ascertained, sources said.

Tarannum (23) and bookies Milind Dheeraj Nandu alias DJ and Pradeep Parmar are under arrest on charges of conspiracy, betting and hacking.

Tarannum’s Tanishq bungalow in Andheri was raided by income tax officials who recovered Rs 22 lakh in cash. Sources said
several other bar girls who are on the IT list include names such as Baby (formerly with Campus Bar in Vile Parle), Seema and Neetu (Night Lover bar), Ayesha (Topaz), Muskan and Payal (Tandoor) etc. The cops are also busy decoding a list of 157 names recovered from Parmar’s cellphone.

The police are looking for some bar girls who received lavish cash gifts from fake stamp paper kingpin Abdul Telgi. The money amounting to Rs 93 lakh was spent over three nights on six bar girls including Bobby and Ayesha at the Topaz Bar.

The Times of India, September 29, 2005

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Cops to start security cells for women, children

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Police will soon start a ‘social security cell’ for women and children. The cell, to be started in 33 districts and nine commissionerates, will be headed largely by women.

The plan, initiated by the director general of police, P S Pasricha, will be implemented within a month. “It will deal with special cases where women and children are sexually and mentally abused. Most of the time, women find it difficult to discuss their problems with male officers. We have planned to appoint more women police officers so that the victims or the complainant do not hesitate,’’ Pasricha said.

Police sources said that the cell will closely monitor cases wherein aspiring models or actors coming to Mumbai from across the country, or women from Bangladesh, Nepal and other Indian cities, are cheated and forced into flesh trade. “Such victims find it difficult to go back home. The social security cell will extend all help to such girls,’’ he said.

The cell would also keep a check on child abuse. There are incidents where children are sexually exploited but they find it difficult to tell policemen.

For example, the police arrested one Shahid Shaikh (45) for repeatedly raping his two daughters aged 15 years and 17 years, in 2004. The daughters did not have the courage to go the police for one year. “The officers will also keep a check on such cases,’’ an officer said.

The Times of India, May 28, 2005

Thursday, May 26, 2005

At Byculla, falling stones baffle residents, police

Residents of Kanchwala compound near Madanpura in Byculla show the stones that mysterioulsy fall between midnight and 5 am daily


Mumbai: It’s a stone-throwing incident that has stumped the police. Every night between 12 midnight and 5 am, huge stones fall from all directions into the Kanchwala compound near Madanpura in Byculla (west). Five people have been injured due to the stones in the last 10 days.

The residents of the compound say that they have been witnessing the stone falling since the past few months but the intensity has increased in the past 10 days. The stones, ranging from 500 gm to 5 kg, often fall on the roofs of the homes of the residents. The compound is flanked by St Agnes School on the east and by the Bombay Soap Mill on the north.
The mill was closed down a few years ago.

“It’s been happening for the last few months but we have not been able to sleep for the last 10-15 days,’’ said Mubeen Qureishi, a resident. “Who knows when a stone will fall on his head? One of our neighbours was sitting in his house and all of a sudden a stone came crashing down through his roof. No one was injured but it is a serious case.’’

The Nagpada police, who arrived at the spot on Wednesday morning at around 1 am, also witnessed the stones falling. Police subinspector Arun Katkar, along with two other policemen, was in the compound for nearly an hour and also went to the school at 2 am but
did not find any evidence of the place being used by miscreants to hurl stones. Questioning the watchman of the school also yielded no clues. “We are looking into the matter,’’ said Katkar adding that the police were yet to decide whether a case should be registered or not.

The residents, most of whom are from the lower middle class strata and zari workers, believe that some ‘unknown spirit’ is behind it. They have installed four huge lights to find out where exactly the stones are coming from and who is behind it, but are yet to make any headway.

Mohammed Hussain, who sustained a leg injury, said
he was standing outside his house when a stone hit him. “One Farooq Shaikh has sustained severe injuries and left this place.’’ While there are different versions floating around, a few people also said that a group of builders wanted the 200 residents to vacate the land so that they could construct a road for a new residential tower that will be coming up in the next few years. “We are not scared and will not leave this place, ‘’ some residents said.

The Times of India, May 26, 2005

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

NETWORKED - Police plan a more mobile squad

Talks On With Phone Firms To Give Entire 39,000-Force Cells

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The Mumbai police has fresh plans to make its force mobile—fitting its 39,000 policemen and policewomen with cellphones.

Senior officials are negotiating with two cellphone companies to get handsets and SIM cards for the staff. “Talks are in their final stage and will be wrapped up in a week,’’ joint commissioner of police (administration) P K Jain said. The target is to provide cellphones to at least all the lower rung policemen (from constables to assistant subinspectors).

“We have asked for concessional rates for 39,000 connections. The firm that gives us a higher conces
sion will, obviously, be given the contract,’’ Jain said. “The handsets will be bought and the bills paid by the users. We are trying to get a concession so that everyone in the force can afford it.’’ However, he declined to provide details of the “concession’’ offered by the two companies, BPL and Reliance.

“We have been talking about connectivity. I want to reach each person in the force. We are trying to make our policemen more technology-savvy,’’ Jain said.

But officials said the scheme will not be mandatory. “This facility will not be forced on anyone. Our aim is to get the best deal for our personnel. Those who want this facility will have to register with the company through the Mumbai Police,’’ an officer said. But officials admitted that the scheme would improve efficiency. The city police had chalked out similar
plans in early 2004 during the tenure of police commissioner P S Pasricha, but things had not worked out. Officials hope to be successful this time.

The Times of India, May 25, 2005

Monday, May 23, 2005

Shamed, police force aims to improve image

Director-general of police P S Pasricha

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Constable Sunil More was not the first policeman to be accused of rape. Over 63 cases of molestation, misbehaviour with women and rape involving policemen in the state have been reported since 2001.

According to sources in the state police, at least 16 policemen were accused of sexual misconduct in 2001, 15 in 2002, 15 in 2003, 11 in 2004 and seven so far this year. A senior IPS officer said that such cases are not new in the force but most of the time the vic
tims do not come forward to lodge a complaint.

An IPS officer from the state police said that a case of gang rape was registered against three constables of the Buldana crime branch on September 28 last year. The trio were accused of forcing a teenaged girl to consume alcohol and raping her repeatedly. The officer said, “The 19-year-old victim was on her way home from Bavanpee taluka of Buldana to Sakhdi Taluka in an autorickshaw. Two constables, Anil Deshmukh and Gajanand Chaudhuri, both aged 40, stopped the auto and ordered the driver to leave the girl with them saying they would
take her home. The constables then brought the girl to the house of another constable, Ramesh Hinge, whose wife had left for her mother’s place with the children. The three constables allegedly forced the girl to drink alcohol and raped her one by one.’’

While Hinge was arrested the next day, the other two managed to flee. The police booked them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for kidnapping, wrongful restraint, illegal confinement and gang rape and also under various sections of the Atrocities Act.
DGP Dr P S Pasricha said that he has instructed superintendents of police, deputy commissioners of police and commissioners to keep a check on such incidents. “During my formal visit to Pune, Nagpur
and Aurangabad I instructed my officers that such incidents should not happen again. The policemen have been told to restore their confidence and maintain the dignity of the force,’’ he said.

Referring to the Marine Drive rape case, Pasricha said, “We feel bad about it. Police commissioner A N Roy has taken strict action and dismissed More. We are trying to restore citizens’ trust in the police force.’’

According to sources a constable was accused of molestation in Athpadi taluka of Sangli earlier this month. Investigation sis are still on.

It may be recalled that a deputy commissioner of police in Mumbai was also accused of sexual misconduct in 2003. The victim, a woman sub-inspector, lodged a complaint with the higher authorities; subsequently an inquiry was set up under the then additional commissioner of police (crime) Uddhav Kamble. The investigating officer submitted his report and gave a clean chit to the deputy commissioner.

The Times of India, May 23, 2005

Good, Bad or Ugly

By Somit Sen & Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: MCOCA has come in for praise for its high conviction rate (61 per cent) as well as for crippling the Mumbai underworld. TOI spoke to a cross-section of people to find out if the act has been effective.

Joint commissioner of police (crime) Meera Borwankar, favouring the act, said,”Unlike the IPC, where the police have to prove the involvement of an accused in a crime, this act stipulates that the accused has to prove himself innocent.’’

However, if legal eagles are to be believed, the act has also been misused. Said lawyer Majeed Memon, “In the Milind Vaidya case, a special court had sentenced two alleged gangsters of the Chhota Shakeel gang to be hanged to death. I argued their case... and proved that the police had wrongly booked them under MCOCA. The two were later ac
quitted by the high court.’’

Former IPS officer Y P Singh favouring the MCOCA, however, pointed to a loophole. “According to the act, the person arrested should have at least two previous chargesheets against him. But it does not specify the nature of the offences under which the previous chargesheets are required. As a result, several accused, who have been chargesheeted for a couple of petty offences, are being booked under MCOCA.’’

Police records show that 640 Hindus were arrested under the Act as against 240 Muslims. “So the allegation that MCOCA is (being used) against the minority is baseless,’’ said a senior IPS officer from state police, requesting anonymity.

The Times of India, May 23, 2005

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Broker held for duping investor of Rs 50 crore


Mumbai: The economic offences wing of the city crime branch recently arrested sub-broker Ashit Vinod Shah (42) for duping investors of over Rs 50 crore. Shah is the director of MCI Securities Pvt Ltd.

According to the police, the sub-broker would accept money from clients for shares but would either not buy them or buy only a part of the total amount asked for. However, he would provide
bogus bills to all his clients. Among Shah’s other offences are not transferring the shares to his investors’ demat accounts and reselling the shares without their knowledge. He also promised several investors interest on sharelanding and for using their shares but stopped paying them the interest after a short period.

A woman investor who was at the crime branch to inquire about Shah’s case, said, “My husband
has been chasing Shah for a long time but we have yet to get our money back. We have invested lakhs of rupees and have only now realised that he duped us.’’

Shah, who is currently in police custody, told TOI that his company was enmeshed in a financial
crisis and that he had used investors’ money to pay interest on the huge sum he had borrowed to pay off the liabilities of his earlier company, Maneklal Chunilal Investment Pvt Ltd. Sources said that MCI Securities was in heavy debt since its inception due to the liabilities of Maneklal Chunilal Investment Pvt Ltd that were taken over by the directors of MCI. Shah also claimed that he had paid between Rs 20 to 25 crore as interest to his investors. The police have sent a letter to the Bombay Stock Exchange to find out whether MCI purchased shares through BSE or not.

The police have recovered cash and jewellery estimated to be worth Rs 22 lakh from Shah and are on the lookout for his brother, Manish Shah, who is also an accused in the case.

The Times of India, May 21, 2005

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Six Bollywood personalities victims of net abuse

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: At least six Bollywood personalities have complained of either receiving vulgar emails or finding their profiles posted on websites, asking net users to approach them “for a good time’’, in the last one month.

Model-tur ned-actress Kainaz, also a co-star in the Hindi movie Khamosh, said she was shocked after finding her photo accompanied by a vulgar profile posted on a website. The accused, who Kainaz claims is known to her, downloaded the photo from the net and posted it on a site’s profile section. “The accused, after posting my photo and profile in April, termed me as a high-class call girl,’’ Kainaz told TOI on Monday.

Refusing to disclose the identity of the accused, Kainaz claimed the act to be a fallout of personal enmi
ty. Though she has not filed an FIR, she indicated that she would approach the police soon.

According to officers of the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the city police, four Bollywood personalities including Deepal Shaw (known
for her performance in the remix video Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar), two veejays of a music channel and a female model had approached them with similar complaints. “In all the cases, the victims did not lodge
an FIR. In Deepal Shaw’s case, she told us that someone posted her photograph and mobile number on the web asking net users to contact her. The accused, posing as Shaw, had been chatting with a number of men. When the net users asked for a contact number, he gave
Deepal Shaw’s contact number. She then received at least 15 obscene phone calls,’’ a police officer said.

Another female model, whose identity was not disclosed, has also complained to
the police that her profile was posted on a website. The social service branch is investigating the case.

Police officers, however, claim that the victims generally don’t co-operate with them. “When we ask for some information or document, they back out. This hampers our investigation,’’a police officer said.

Singer Hariharan is also reported to have received abusive emails. Hariharan has complained to the Powai police, who are now investigating the case.

Investigating officers said that they have sent a proposal to the state gov
ernment for making identity cards compulsory for net users. “Once the state government gives its nod t o the proposal, the use of I-card will be made compulsory and it will be helpful in detecting cyber crime cases,’’ a policeman said.

The Times of India, May 17, 2005

Sunday, May 15, 2005

CID wants bail for cops in Yunus case cancelled

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The state CID, which is probing the Khwaja Yunus murder case, wants the bail granted by the Vikhroli metropolitan magistrate’s court to the four accused policemen cancelled.

It has approached the state government to sanction its application for the cancellation of policemen’s bail in the high court. The accused includes encounter specialist inspector Praful Bhosale.

Khwaja Yunus, an accused in the Ghatkopar bomb blasts of December 2002, mysteriously disappeared from police custody on January 7, 2003. While the police claimed he escaped from custody, his father moved the court alleging that his son had been tortured to death.

The special Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) court ordered the CID to treat the statement of Dr Abdul Mateen, another accused in the blast case, as the first information report and investigate the case accordingly.

In his statement, Dr Mateen had alleged that policemen beat up Yunus and he died because of cardiac rapture in police custody.

Suspended assistant inspector Sachin Vaze was first to be arrested in this case. A year later, four others, inspector Praful Bhosale, assistant inspectors Hemant Desai, Ashok Khot and sub-inspector Rajaram Vhanmane were also arrested by the state CID on March 5. The accused were later granted bail by the Vikhroli metropolitan magistrate court.

CID sources said the agency was not satisfied with the court’s decision to grant bail to the accused po

“Murder is a heinous crime, only the sessions court or the high court has the power to grant bail. Therefore, we have moved to the law and judiciary department of the state government and submitted an application for revision of the
bail application,’’ state CID superintendent S K Padvi told TOI.

According to Padvi, the state CID is waiting for the state government’s nod to approach the Bombay high court for cancellation of the accused policemen’s bail. “Once our application is sanctioned by the law and judiciary department, we will approach the high court,” he said.

When contacted, Satish Maneshinde, defence lawyer in Yunus case, said he was unaware about the CID’s move to approach the law and judiciary department.

The Times of India, May 15, 2005

Saturday, May 14, 2005

4 held for forging Naval documents

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The Worli police arrested an ex-Naval commander, a builder and two film makers for submitting bogus documents in the name of Navy to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to construct a 19-storey building adjacent to INS Trata in Worli. The builder had also paid Rs 4 crore to yesteryears film actress Nimmi to vacate her bunglow located on the same land plot.

Police said the ex-commander, Mitender Sethi (55) was paid Rs 1 crore by the builder, Mohan Babani (45), for giving knowledge to prepare bogus documents related to the Navy. The two other accused, Grupal Harbansingh Sacchal(36) and Vinod Tejwani (37) claimed to be film makers for Sahara One channel.

The complainant, Lieutenant commander, Abhijit Singh of INS Trata Worli, in his complaint stated that the Navy had never issued any ‘No Objection Certificate’ to anyone on the ground that constructing a highrise adjacent to Naval area was not permitted. “Acting on the complaint, we investigated the case and found that the ac
it to Babani for Rs 6 crore. Later, Babani paid Nimmi Rs 4 crore to vacate that land in 2003. “When Naval officials came to know about Babani’s plan, they wrote to BMC and Babani that an NOC cannot be issued to him on the grounds that Navy has vital installations in its area. By the time Babani had already spent Rs 10 crore and he planned to concused had prepared bogus NOC letters to get permission from BMC’s building department,’’ a police officer said.

A police officer said that the land plot, measuring 1,648 square metres, belonged to Maharani of Marvi, Gujarat and film actress Nimmi. Maharani sold
tact someone who could help him get the permission for construction,’’ an investigating officer said.

The ex-Naval officer, Sethi and another accused Sacchal were staying in the same building in Khar (west). Sacchal, on behalf of Babani, offered Sethi Rs 1 crore for helping Babani in this matter. Sethi agreed and was paid Rs 1 crore in cash. The other two, Sacchal and Tejwani were given Rs 20 lakh each. The four accused together submitted bogus letters of INS Trata to BMC. The BMC officials sanctioned the letter to construct a building. “The BMC officials did not bother to verify whether the letter submitted by the accused was genuine since it did not contain any official stamp from Navy or any monogram of On India Government Service (OIGS). We are questioning the concerned BMC officials as well,’’ a senior officer said. Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, additional commissioner of police (central region), said, “We have informed the Income Tax officials and they will soon question Babani as to how he managed to give Rs 1.40 crore in cash to the other accused.’’

The Times of India, May 14, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Five held in Vile Parle robbery case

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The Juhu police have arrested five people, including a former kidney racket agent, in connection with a recent robbery of Rs 8 lakh at a plastic manufacturing shop in Vile Parle. The police have managed to recover Rs 2.17 lakh from them.

Zonal deputy commissioner of police Amitabh Gupta said, the five, members of a 13-member gang, had met each other while serving terms at the Arthur Road prison a few years ago.

Gang leader Joseph Fernandes, who is now in police custody, is a former member of the Amar Naik and Chhota Shakeel gangs. He formed his own gang after Shakeel kicked him out from D-company. Till 2001, he had worked with Amar Naik, who shunted him out after finding that information provided by Fernandes was no longer useful.

Sanjay Aniket Chauhan, who was nabbed after the robery, told the police that his actual name was Abdul Rauf Shaikh, and was an agent in the kidney-selling racket that rocked Hyderabad recently.

The Times of India, May 12, 2005

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Chowky at Sion hospital speeds up formalities

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: A new police chowky in the Sion hospital premises now ensures that relatives of deceased do not have to wait for hours to get custody of the body.

The chowky, the first of its kind in any hospital in the state, is manned roundthe-clock by two police inspectors and four constables. Started by the Sion police station about a fortnight ago, it is meant to not only expedite the process of handing over dead or unclaimed bodies but also attend to assault cases.

The police personnel at the chowky have not been given the powers to register a First Information Report but they can complete all the initial formalities (making inquiries etc) and then send the case to the police station.

“Earlier, relatives of a deceased would come to the
police station to get a no-objection certificate to get the dead body. They would have to wait for a long time since the duty officers would also be busy with other matters. Now, the police personnel in the chowky look after all these cases,’’ said senior inspector Subhash Chutake of the Sion police station. He added that additional commissioner S K Jaiswal and deputy commissioner A R Shinde had recommended a police chowky inside the hospital premises. The dean, M E Yeolekar provided around Rs 1 lakh for the construction of the chowky.

“The policemen posted in the hospital make inquiries like identification, relationship between the deceased and relatives and hand over the body within an hour,’’ said assistant commissioner of police (Sion division) Arun Desai. “The policemen in the chowky have so far handed over around 200 dead bodies and also taken around 330 accidental death registered cases which were earlier dealt with by police station officers. “On an average, seven people die in a day at Sion hospital,’’ he added.

Sub-inspector H M Gosavi, who is heading the chowky, said they get 10-15 cases a day and the chowky had proved to be convenient for citizens. “Though it would help if we also had a telephone connection since we have to go to the police station to report the serious cases,’’ he said.

The Times of India, May 11, 2005

Monday, May 9, 2005

Black: the colour of money behind bars

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Arthur Road may be one of the country’s most sensitive prisons. But it doubles up as one of the busiest commercial centres that can be found behind bars: from an extra cigarette to one more pillow, everything is there for a price.

And, hold your breath, the flourishing trade is controlled mainly by foreign nationals lodged here (especially Nigerians and other Africans).

An undertrial, released on bail last month, explained how blacking coupons had become a flourishing business in the Arthur Road jail: “Inmates are not allowed to keep money in jail. They have to buy coupons from the authorities to buy stuff from the canteen. A coupon costs a rupee and an inmate cannot buy more coupons than the prescribed quantity every month. In reality, however, an inmate is not even allowed to buy the number of coupons he can legally. And it is here that market forces come
into play.’’

The Nigerians, who run the coupon-blacking business, charge a commission of 30 per cent. The Arthur Road police recently raided the cell of a Da
wood associate and recovered thousands of coupons, officials said.

But coupons are the only articles sold. “An inmate leaving a prison does not take with him his bedsheet and other stuff. So there are some prisoners who

grab them and then sell them to inmates who want extra bedsheets or pillows,’’ an official said.

And the baba on duty (the constable) is always in the know. No senior jail administration official, however, would come on record to speak about the market in prison.

The Times of India, May 9, 2005

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Where are the women to recruit as cops, ask police

Most Female Applicants Are Physically Unfit Or Fail Written Test, Say Authorities

By Mateen Hafeez and Rukmini Shrinivasan/TNN

Mumbai: If the Mumbai police is to be believed, there aren’t more women in the police force because they’re not good enough. Over 11,000 vacancies of women police constables in the city police force are being occupied by male constables because police authorities claim that those women who appear for the exam are either physically unfit and/or unable to pass the written exam.

After the horrific rape of a college girl in the Marine Drive police chowky by a police constable, sever
al women’s groups and NGOs have demanded that the number of women in the police department be increased.

Though the state government prescribes that the police force should comprise 30% women, there are only 4% women in the force at present. There are 13,000 posts for women police but only 2,000 policewomen. The posts for police
women lie vacant for a long time and then every year, male constables fill the seats. In February this year, the city police recruited 630 constables. As per the reservation, 189 women could have been inducted but only 54 women candidates were selected. “Around 1,000 women across the state had applied for the post but most of them were either physically unfit or failed in the written exam or interviews,” says joint commissioner of police (Administration), P K Jain.

The procedure for the recruitment of men and women in the police is the same. Women have to participate in ball throw, running and other exercises required by procedure. Women’s rights activists say that the police force is taking the easy way out. “I studied engineering and I had to take a medical test which I failed,’’ recalls Forum Against Oppression of Women activist Sandhya Gokhale. “But I was told how I could improve and to come back in a month. Why can’t the police do that too if they are sincere about recruiting women?

“In most households, the woman gets the least nutrition and is much unhealthier than male members of the family,’’ she adds. “Given the current social condition, the police should guide women and help them pass. We see such snazzy ads for the army on TV. Why can’t there be ads for police recruitments too? Women have much less access to public information and
there should be an effort to get the information to them.’’

Women’s rights groups do not rule out the possibility that failing women candidates in exams is a ploy to ensure that women stay out of the police force. “Most policemen would not want a woman for a boss. You keep seeing women officers being shunted around and moved to ‘non-action duty’,’’ says Gokhale. The Mumbai police’s argument is the same one that the government and bureaucracy use to justify poor representation of women, women’s groups add.

No of vacancies 630 Applicants 1,09,000 Applications rejected 25,000 Call letters sent 84,000 Qualified for test 34,000 Qualified for outdoor test 25,000 Qualified in interview 9,000 Selected 630

The Times of India, May 4, 2005

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

2,000 cops to get some expert advice

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: After attempting to improve police-public relations with the help of the Israeli consultancy firm Mercuri Goldman, the city police now plans to rope in other firms to conduct special programmes for police constables on issues such as stress, motivation and gender sensitisation.

Over 4,000 police constables are expected to attend the training sessions this week. The city police has invited experts such as Dr Rushi Pandya and two private consultancy firms from New Delhi and Bangalore for this.

The lectures, twice a day, will be conducted at Naigaon police headquarters, Bandra and south Mumbai. The first phase of the training session will be conducted on May 5 and May 6. “We have spoken to
several professionals who will deliver lectures on various issues during this programme,’’ police commissioner A N Roy said.

Asked if the Mercuri Goldman experiment—culture of care and competence—had flopped, joint commissioner of police (administration) P K Jain said, “You can’t say that although we did not get the expected results. We have noticed positive changes in the behaviour of policemen. It will take some more time for long-term changes.’’

Policemen from the rank of inspector and above attended the Mercuri Goldman programme where lecturers focused on human behaviour, attitude, conver
sation with visitors in the police stations etc.

Dr Pandya, a management expert, will train the policemen in behavioural science.

The Times of India, May 3, 2005

Monday, May 2, 2005

Trader held for duping investors of crores

MSU Chancellor Among Victims

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The chancellor of Vadodara’s M S University, Mrunalinidevi Puar, is one of the six victims duped by a 60-year-old businessman arrested last week for failing to pay them interest as high as 24% on their investments in his company for about a decade.

The accused, Jagdish Parekh, was arrested on Tuesday evening by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the crime branch for allegedly cheating
these six persons to the tune of Rs 1.67 crore, which has now bloated to a staggering Rs 2.94 crore with interest.

Puar, who had invested Rs 25 lakh in 1996, is yet to come to Mumbai for her ‘witness’ statement.

An officer attached to the EOW said Parekh, an architect by profession, had approached many people offering them as high as 50% returns on their investment in his company, Jugle Chemicals. But finding no takers, he again approached them saying that his other company, R J Investment, was making huge profits and convinced them to invest money in it for 24% interest.

According to the police, the victims had invested money in 1995-96 and they received the promised returns for only three to four months. Parekh then stopped the payments saying that his company was in a financial crisis.

A complainant, Kala Kumar Bhogale, an architect from south Mumbai, said he invested money in Parekh’s company in good faith. “I was introduced to Parekh by one of our common friend, Moti Daryanani. My friend had told me that Parekh was a big businessman and I would make huge profit if I join hands with him. It’s almost a decade and we are still waiting for our money,’’ Bhogale said.

Elaborating the case, inspector Ashokh Jadhav, who
is investigating the case, said: “When Parekh could not pay on time, he told investors that he had two flats in Wadala and would keep the flats with them as ‘security’. However, he did not give them the possession of the flat.’’

Jadhav further added that Parekh justified his failure to return the investors’ money saying that he had to shut down his factory, Shree Dye Chems, following a Bombay high court order.

Later, Parekh took a loan of Rs 3 crore from the Bank of Baroda, Mumbai, and mortgaged his plot at Wadala. Though he constructed a six-storeyed building on this plot, he failed to repay the bank loan. Bank of Baroda then approached the debt recovery tribunal, which appointed a court receiver. While a private financier repaid Parekh’s bank loan, the investors were still chasing him.

The Times of India, May 2, 2005