Hardas Tharwani, a 68-year-old businessman from Ulhasnagar, has filed a criminal writ petition in the Bombay High Court against a senior inspector of Ulhasnagar-I police station, demanding a CID inquiry against him. Tharwani has alleged that SI Siddharth Lalu Wagh and other cops raided his office and arrested him and his staff for no reason, at the behest of his business foe.
Tharwani, a builder and cable provider, runs two local news channels. According to his petition filed last month, Wagh, along with a dozen policemen, raided his office on January 4, 2012. The cops smashed CCTV cameras at his office, took away the cell phones of five women employees and held them captive. They also seized documents and equipment, forcing his cable business shut. “I requested Wagh to tell me what my crime was but he asked me to shut up,” said Tharwani.
While Tharwani and his employees were released later in the night on bail, the builder was rearrested and was produced in court the next day, where he was released on bail. “Until now, the police have not told me why they arrested us,” said Tharwani.
Tharwani later realised that the FIR against him had been lodged by his former employee Deepak Basantani, who had defected to a rival cable operator. “Wagh is supari cop. He is working at the behest of my rival businessman,” said Tharwani. He filed the petition through his lawyer Ganesh Gole, who said, “In the last hearing, the court asked Wagh to file his reply. The next hearing is on January 24.”
The other side
SI Wagh could not be reached for comment. Asked if the allegations were true, his colleague inspector Mahendra Chavhan, also named in the petition, said, “Whatever we did was legal. I don’t know about the development in Tharwani’s petition. I am on leave.”