'Cop hit me as he didn't like my funky hairstyle'

24-year-old collegian says senior inspector from Kolsewadi police station abused and thrashed him after he found his hair 'like a girl's'

Comb down the cool quotient if you walk by Senior Inspector Jagdish Lohalkar; he cannot tolerate trendy hair dos, claims a collegian whose hairstyle allegedly raised the hackles of the cop high enough to assail him.

Rajesh Keshav Ram (24), a student of CHM College in Ulhasnagar, has complained against the inspector from Kolsewadi police station in Kalyan for assaulting him for sporting a funky hairstyle. Incidentally, he wears his hair long. A resident of Shantabai Chawl, Kalyan (E), he has written to the police commissioner of Thane and the home minister against the alleged atrocity.

Comb-at: Rajesh Keshav Ram (top) injured his knee after Senior Inspector
Jagdish Lohalkar allegedly mauled him at an eatery. Ram claimed the
officer also stole Rs 400 from him. Pic/Navneet Barhate

On October 8, a little after noon, Ram dropped by a diner in Katemanivali area for brunch. "My parents are out of town so I have been eating out," he explained. According to his complaint, around 12.40 pm Inspector Lohalkar came to Jaya restaurant. The inspector saw him and started spewing profanity for no apparent reason. When Ram asked him why he was behaving rudely, the officer commented on his hair - reportedly too effeminate for him - and started slapping him.

'Too girly'
"The inspector abused and thrashed me, saying that I had worn my hair like a girl," Ram said. "He grabbed me by the hair and hit me across the face many times, following which I lost my balance and crashed on the street." At this point, one of his knees got injured severely and started bleeding, he said.

According to Rajesh, his funky hairstyle peeved Lohalkar no end. "He then started accusing me of teasing the girls in the area," Ram said. "After venting his rage, he forcibly took away Rs 400 from my pocket."

Ram claimed that he saw more than six other youngsters loaded in Lohalkar's police jeep.

After the incident, Ram penned a complaint letter (copy with MiD DAY) to Lohalkar's superiors, including a DCP, Police Commissioner, Thane, and the home minister, seeking justice from the authorities.

Sources say Lohalkar is prone to abusing his power, and residents in Ulhasnagar are fed up of the officer's autocracy. "Lohalkar makes a bad impression on the youth. He abuses youngsters and even women when he patrols the area," said an NCP leader on the condition of anonymity.

The other side
Lohalkar denied all the allegations made by Ram, and made some new ones. "Rajesh is an associate of a kidney thief called Suraj Khan. He lives in an area under the command of another police station and comes to eve-tease girls in my jurisdiction. Local women have welcomed the action I have taken against him," said Lohalkar. "These claims are rubbish. You can judge by my record that these accusations are not right."

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