The suspension of former Thane Rural Superintendent of Police Ravindra Sengaonkar following the arrests of Shaheen Dhada and Rini Srinivasan for their Facebook comments after Bal Thackeray’s demise came back to haunt him when the President’s Medal was offered to him for his 23 years of service.
Shengaonkar, who is said to be upset with the department and the government for being made the scapegoat, did not attend the ceremony where the medal was to be presented to him. The former Superintendent of Police was declared a President’s Medal awardee for his 23 years’ of service on January 26, 2012. In the course of his service, he has received around 27 letters of appreciation from his seniors and around 250 from the public, and has also served in Naxalite areas like Chandrapur.
Shengaonkar and Shrikant Pingale, Senior Police Inspector of Palghar, were suspended for allegedly arresting Dhadha and Srinivasan. Though the President’s Medal was declared on January 26, 2012, it was to be presented to the police officers last week by the Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan at his residence. Sengaonkar did not attend the event and when contacted by MiD DAY, said, “Everybody knows the reason behind my absence.”
“The decision to arrest the girls was taken only after it was cleared by higher-ups in the force,” said a police officer. “However, when the issue heated up, people were made scapegoats. If the girls had not been arrested, then the Shiv Sainiks could have had the benefit of sympathy and destroyed the area.”