5-star treatment: Devendra Fadnavis orders probe against Thane jail superintendent

Home and prisons departments to conduct an inquiry into allegations of massive corruption within the jail; cops had sent a letter to the CM

Taking cognisance of yesterday’s mid-day report on alleged massive corruption by Thane Central Jail Superintendent Hiralal Jadhav, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a probe into the allegations.

Thane Jail Superintendent Hiralal Jadhav
Thane Jail Superintendent Hiralal Jadhav

mid-day had quoted contents of an 11-page letter sent to the CM by whistleblowers on April 30, alleging that Jadhav allows rich inmates to lead cushy lives after greasing his palms, lets them make calls through his personal phone and treats them to a regular stash of hashish, marijuana and alcohol, with the connivance of jailers Madane Kadam, Ingale and Suryanvanshi, and constable Suryakant Patil. He also allegedly forces the jail staff to kowtow to his bribe demands for sought-after duties.

Confirming his directive, Fadnavis said, “I have asked higher authorities to probe all allegations reported by mid-day. Higher officials in the home and prisons departments will conduct the inquiry and submit a report to me.”

Sources said the government, as a rule, does not take cognisance of anonymous letters or complaints, but in this case, it has made an exception. Sources in the home department said all officials named in the complaint will face a probe.

Denying the allegations, Jadhav told mid-day that he is ready for an inquiry.

‘Aide’ transferred
Meanwhile, Ashwini Mandape, who was allegedly brought in by Jadhav as the officer in charge of the women personnel, was on Wednesday transferred to the Byculla jail.

Swati Sathe, who is handling the additional charge of IG (Prisons), said, “We have initiated an inquiry into the matter. Woman officer Ashwini Mandape has been relieved from the Thane Central Jail and sent to her original post (as women personnel in-charge) at the Byculla jail.”

Mandape had joined the Thane Central Jail on March 30, but, according to the letter, didn’t report for duty till April 3. Also, on the date of joining, she was allegedly driven to the jail by Jadhav himself in his car and constables were directed to pick up her bags.

After Mandape was disqualified from service by the DIG’s office on April 11, Jadhav sent a favourable report to the office, commending her service in prison, following which she was reinstated.

Can of worms
>> The letter has opened a Pandora’s box. It said a molestation case was registered against Jadhav at the Rajwada police station in Kolhapur after a woman complained that he had been stalking her for days. He was allegedly thrashed by the woman’s relatives and handed over to the Rajwada police.

>> An inquiry has been initiated against Jadhav after he reported that his service revolver has gone missing. The letter alleges that Jadhav demanded sexual favours from the wife of a prisoner. The woman laid a trap, called him to her residence, beat him up, along with her relatives, and snatched his revolver. Jadhav has, however, claimed that the revolver has gone missing.

>> During his stint at the Nashik Central Jail, he allegedly summoned a woman to a hotel room. The woman arrived with her husband, and the two thrashed him and recorded his assurance that he would not indulge in such misdemeanours again.

>> The letter also alleges that he had an extramarital affair with an advocate during his service at the Amravati jail.

>> He also allegedly sought sexual favours from Leenata Patil, a woman constable of Amravati jail, and when she rebuffed him, he launched an inquiry against her as punishment. Patil had complained about this with the DIG’s office in Nagpur. Sushma Chavan, who has now replaced Ashwini Mandape at the Thane jail, has also filed a harassment complaint against Jadhav.

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