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Denied free food, cops book eatery owner in false case

The Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Mazgaon has initiated an inquiry against policemen from JJ Marg police station after they allegedly implicated a restaurant owner in a false case because he refused to provide free meals to them.

Restaurant owner Mohammed Shariffi
Restaurant owner Mohammed Shariffi refused to provide free food from his hotel at Bhendi Bazar to police officers from JJ Marg police station. Angered by the act, cops implicated him in a false case. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The order was passed on April 2 following a case filed by the owner of restaurant Lime & Spice, which is located at Bhendi Bazar junction. According to the complainant and owner of the restaurant Mohammed Hussain Gulam Hussain Shariffi (52), JJ Marg police officers, including assistant police inspector Kalyan Fulari, would order food and take off without paying.

At times stating that Fulari had some guests, the cops took parcels of chicken tandoori, chicken chilly, mutton do pyaza, shami kabab, and nargisi kabab. When the restaurant manager asked for the payment, they would abuse and threaten the management, questioning them how they dare ask money from a police officer.

“Sometimes Fulari would order food worth Rs 2,000. He would say I have guests today, so send the food. When we would ask him for the money, he would abuse and threaten us saying ‘Mujhse panga mat le. Bhari padega’,” said Shariffi.

Abused and slapped
But, the cops crossed the line of acceptability on the night of November 17, 2012, when four constables took food worth Rs 630. When the manager asked them for the money, they abused, slapped and threatened him. They then dialled Fulari’s mobile number who continued the tirade, shouting and intimidating the manager over the phone. Left with no choice, a helpless Shariffi’s son gave the food for free.

Free food
After the incident, Fulari also met Shariffi several times asking why he did not make food available to his constables for free. Fulari also threatened him saying that he shouldn’t get into his bad books; else ‘he would deal with him.’

Fulari got his chance to make a point when an injured Shariffi approached the JJ Marg police station after some men assaulted him and his son during a religious procession on November 25. Instead of registering an FIR, a case was filed against Shariffi and his son after he had left the station. The next morning Fulari met Shariffi at the hospital and informed about the booking, even going to the extent of saying, ‘Now, I will show you.’

After securing anticipatory bail in the case, Shariffi met several senior cops requesting them to take action against the policemen, but the earnest request fell on deaf ears. With justice denied, Shariffi filed a petition on January 30, and on April 3 the court ordered Kalachowkie police to conduct an inquiry against Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sanjay Diwadkar, Senior Police Inspector Shashikant Surve and Fulari. The court also directed them to submit a report by May 27. “I am thankful to the court that they have conducted an inquiry through another police station,” said Shariffi.

On the house
The constables from JJ Marg police station would take parcels of chicken tandoori, chicken chilly, mutton do pyaza, shami kabab, and nargisi kabab for free. They would refuse to pay the bill.

The Other Side
“I am not aware about the Mazgaon court order. I am aware that last year our detection staff had gone to Lime & Spice restaurant and left without paying the bill. After a complaint was made, we had removed them (including Fulari) from the detection branch. We had also booked Shariffi after a complaint was filed against him,” said Shashikant Surve, senior inspector, JJ Marg police station.

“I am not aware about the court order. My superiors know that I have a very clean image as a police officer. I have not got any inquiry order of Shariffi from my superiors,” said ACP Sanjay Diwadkar. Despite repeated attempts Fulari was not available for comment as his mobile phone was switched off.

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