Mumbai: Constable's family blows whistle on corruption within the ranks

Wife, four-year-old sit on a hunger strike to protest against harassment of lower rank personnel and paid postings

Samrudhi Patil looks famished but determined. The four-year-old and her mother, Yashashree, are the new face of pent-up anger and frustration in the police fraternity. The two began an indefinite hunger strike at Azad Maidan on Wednesday to protest alleged harassment of lower rank personnel and corruption in the police department.

Yashashree and Samrudhi Patil dig their heels in against rank corruption at Azad Maidan. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Yashashree and Samrudhi Patil dig their heels in against rank corruption at Azad Maidan. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The Patils decided enough was enough after “unearthing a corruption scam” in postings.

Yashashree’s husband and constable in the Sahar traffic police department, Pramod Patil, joined the Mumbai police in 2005 and was posted at the DN Nagar traffic department. He was transferred to the Malabar Hill traffic division last year, a deputation that flouted the rule book, claims the 33-year-old constable.

“We live in the Marol police quarters in Andheri East. Police personnel are posted near their houses or along the same line, like western or eastern or northern. A committee is mandated to review each posting.”

Corruption scam
Refusing to take it lying down, Patil filed an RTI application in the department and stumbled upon a “corruption scam” — given the right cost, all dream postings were up for grabs. “I was immediately transferred from the Malabar Hill traffic division to the Sahar traffic division,” he says.

He then allegedly faced relentless harassment within the ranks. “I was taunted by my own staff and seniors. They called me Anna Hazare for taking up a fight against corruption,” says Patil.

One pressure tactic after another allegedly mounted. His salary was cut for five days when he, in fact, took leave for just a day last November, claims Patil. “I was subjected to a lot of harassment from the ACP, DCP and other higher officials. I was also given different duties all the time.”

Hunger strike
Yashashree said her hunger strike is a voice against such harassment. The family on Wednesday met Commissioner of Police Dattatray Padsalgikar, who assured them of addressing their concerns. “We believe in him.

But the problem is in the system within the department. When the common man has a problem, he goes to the police. Whom will the police go to when they face problems?” asks Yashashree. The family wants the CM’s intervention.

“I want more people, especially the wives of other police personnel, to come out and support us,” says Yashashree.

The family, whose sit-in goes on from 9 am to 6 pm, is sporting placards of police personnel who died in the 26/11 attacks as well as fighting Naxals. Patil is not allowed to sit in on the strike, but has taken leave to accompany his family.

Support has begun to pour in. Many constables have visited the family to extend their support to the protest, but have refused to come on record for fear of repercussions. “The family has taken a brave step. I don’t have the courage to speak out [against poor treatment of police constables],” says a constable.

Another constable suggests that lower rank police personnel be allowed to form unions, as is the case with IPS officers. “We should be given a platform to raise our voices.”

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4 Comments

  • Biltu18-Mar-2016

    THIS FAMILY INCLUDING THE LITTLE GIRL ARE ALL ANTI NATIONALS. WE KNOW HOW WELL THE LOWER RANKS ARE TREATED BY SENIOR OFFICERS AND NO CORRUPTION AT ALL IN THE POLICE FORCE. AREEST THEM IMMEDIATELY AND LOCK THEM UP ON SEDITION CHARGES .

  • Ahmed Mubarak Shaikh03-Apr-2016

    I am one police constable.24yrs of serving of which 20yrs of expereince working in various police station in mumbai.Working in police station means public contacts.At police stations theres working hours from 8am to 23hrs.Most of constables are sick or not fit due to long working hours which effect our health.So we constables love to work in side branch means vvips protection as there is no headache as compare to police station.So pl Hon C.M Sir must look at this serious issue....

  • ROHIT18-Mar-2016

    It is indeed very brave to come in the open to share this harassment and corruption within the ranks.I am confident that the Authorities in the Police Force and Chief Minister of Maharashrtra will take it seriously. If the people among st the ranks dont get justice how can a common man expect one. It is a great opportunity to set the right precedence and do what is right. My only request is speed it up and dont drag the family to be a slave of this issue.

  • Santosh begar18-Mar-2016

    Corruption is definitely there in police department and harassment also.In the past lot of lower rank police personnel did suicide because of harassment.I support and it is very brave step.

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