Top cop raps ACPs for failing to stop gambling, flesh trade

MUMBAI: Mumbai police chief Arup Patnaik has pulled up all his assistant commissioners, barring one, saying none of them has been acting against prostitution rackets, most of which operate out of dance bars and massage parlours.

Castigating the ACPs in a letter sent to all of them, he said he believed that most of them were party to such activities and hinted at the involvement of deputy police commissioners as well. However, in the letter, he has showered praises on Vasant Dhoble, hand-picked by the commissioner himself to head the social service branch, entrusted with the job of stopping flesh trade and gambling in the city. Patnaik has even threatened that those ACPs, who turn a blind eye to prostitution and gambling, will be transferred or shunted to “unglamorous posts”.

The police commissioner’s letter, dated February 2, stated that all the illegal activities were flourishing with endorsement from senior inspectors in charge of police stations or inspectors or beat officers. “It is no secret that none of the activities can go on without the blessings of police officials; whether the deputy commissioners concerned are also involved or not is another matter,” the letter said.

Patnaik said senior inspectors might be busy, but the ACPs, who have less work than them, should see to it that flesh trade rackets and gambling were kept at bay.

“The ACPs should start checking such premises and ensure that those establishments function by the rules. They should also look after the renewal of the hotel licences,” the letter stated.

Commending Dhoble, Patnaik wrote: “I fail to understand how ACP Dhoble is being able to control almost the entire city and local ACPs and DCPs fail to do so. I will henceforth allocate the ACPs to the control room if any major raid is carried out.”

Nettled by the chastisement, an ACP tried to hint at the amount of time they have to spend on keeping tabs on “illegal activities being committed by police officers themselves”. Refusing to accept that the assistant commissioners were failing in their duty, he said: “Who says the ACPs don’t have work? We have to do a lot, controlling our jurisdiction and also keeping a tab on the illegal activities being carried out by officers of police stations itself. Besides, there are plenty litigations arising out of civil disputes like redevelopment and land-grabbing, which we have to attend to.” The reproach and the praise of Dhoble did not seem to have gone down well with another officer as well. “Nobody can be perfect. The special branch has no other work but to conduct raids and hand the investigations over to the local police. The circular is ridiculous and nothing but humiliating,” he said.

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