Mumbai: Senior inspector Pravin Chinchalkar of the Marine Drive police station has been transferred out following the arrest of head constable Dharma Karokhe after 12kg of a banned drug was found in his office locker.
Chinchalkar, who has a reputation of being a sincere officer, was on Wednesday sent to the Special Branch, considered to be the city police's intelligence backbone, but seen as a `punishment posting'. The Satara police had on Monday detained and later arrested Karokhe, a 1987 batch constable, after they recovered 110kg of Mephedrone, or Meow-Meow, worth around Rs 21 crore from his house in Kanheri village in Khandala taluka, Satara. He was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. If proved guilty, Karokhe may be imprisoned for 10-20 years and fined up to Rs 1 lakh.
Soon after the city police were informed about Karokhe's detention in Satara, they searched his personal locker at Marine rive police station and found 12kg Mephedrone and two bottles of liquor.The drug and the liquor were seized in the presence of two witnesses. Police chief Rakesh Maria has ordered dismissal proceedings against Karokhe.“The report will be sent to the police commissioner within a day or two,“ said a senior police officer. A separate case under the NDPS Act has been registered against Karokhe in Mumbai.
During interrogation, Karokhe told the police that he used to get the drug from his girlfriend, Baby Patankar, a known drug dealer in Mumbai.Several narcotic cases have been registered against her. “I used to sell the drug through my sources,“ Karokhe reportedly told the police. Police are on the lookout for Baby. The police have searched Karokhe's Mumbai home, but haven't found anything.
Drawing a lesson from the recovery of drugs from Karokhe's locker, top police officers have decided to order checks on the official cupboards and vehicles of police personnel at regular intervals.
Karokkhe was part of the intelligence wing of the Marine Drive police station and was entrusted to collect intelli gence from mills and unions.He was on a 10-day leave as “his father had passed away“. He had been transferred to the Malabar Hill police station, but his Marine Drive senior officers had not relieved him.
Mephedrone is a psychotropic substance and was included in the NDPS Act in February . Almost a decade ago, another Marine Drive police constable, Sunil More, had been dismissed after his arrest on charges of raping a college girl inside a police chowky . He was convicted and imprisoned for 12 years.
Minister promises action against cops
Mephedrone made an `appearance' in the legislature on Wednesday. Minister of state for home (urban) Rajneet Patil said the government will probe any police personnel found in possession of the banned drug. He also said that the transport license of Konduskar Travels will be cancelled and an inquiry conducted against them as the drug was found in one of their buses. TNN
Something is seriously wrong with the force when 12 kg of a drug, recently included on the NDPS list and which can cost up to Rs 2.4 crore in the market, is found stashed inside a police station. Seniors have already initiated a probe but it must go beyond this one case and get to the root of the malaise.