Cop suspended for handing Suresh Bijlani a cellphone in judicial custody
A police sub-inspector (PSI) attached to the police headquarter in Navi Mumbai has been suspended for intentionally handing his mobile phone to gangster-cum-builder Suresh Bijlani in judicial custody.
The revelation came to the fore after the state government submitted a status report to the Bombay High Court yesterday, stating that PSI SR Dhadas alias Baba has been suspended, while another cop attached to Thane police is under scanner for his suspicious role in handing Bijlani a mobile handset.
On September 1, around 1 pm, the prime accused Bijlani was pictured with a cellphone to his ears at the Thane Civil hospital, after which the photograph was splashed across the pages of newspapers. Following the incident, the court came down heavily on the police, reprimanding them for allowing him to use a mobile phone while he was in judicial custody.
Soon after, Bijlani’s lawyer alleged that his client was framed. “When Bijlani was admitted to the Thane Civil Hospital, why was Dhadas visiting him? He has no connection to the case. This is a big criminal conspiracy against my client,” said Ramesh Tripathi, his lawyer.
According to Tripathi, Dhadas approached Bijlani on the day and told him: “Bhai, see this new handset. It is cheap, but has a lot of features.” Tripathi said that after Bijlani put the handset to his ear, another cop clicked a picture and spread false news that Bijlani was threatening somebody on the cellphone.
During the last hearing, Bijlani’s lawyers put the matter before the court after which the court ordered the police to file the status report.
“Yes, the department has suspended me without any reason. I have been made a scapegoat,” said Dhadas.
Caught on tape
On February 16, Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Lahoria was stabbed repeatedly by two men who then shot him five times on the pavement outside his office. Locals caught one of the two killers, as they tried to escape. The entire incident was captured by CCTV cameras
No ‘VIP treatment’ to Bijlani, bench orders
Lambasting the Mumbai police’s Crime Branch in the last hearing, the division bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel asked why Suresh Bijlani was being provided ‘VIP treatment.’
The court had also directed that no ‘five-star’ treatment be given to Bijlani. It also felt that the Mumbai Crime Branch was giving ‘special favours’ to Bijlani. Bijlani was admitted to hospital as he was suffering from a knee problem.
Yesterday, the court said that the police are not following the jail manual.