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Hawker's death was avoidable: Priya Dutt

I had asked the Chief Minister to get (Vasant) Dhoble transferred from here months ago to mend his erratic behaviour. The death of the hawker could have been avoided, if action on my pleas would have been taken earlier and had Dhoble been transferred in time,” said Member of Parliament Priya Dutt, who spoke to Sunday MiDDAY over the phone on Saturday morning.

Dutt was livid after 40 year-old hawker Madan Jaiswal suffered a heart attack and died on Friday, allegedly after he saw ACP Dhoble and attempted to flee. Jaiswal, used to sell fruits on the street of Santacruz east, which falls under Dhoble’s jurisdiction and Dutt’s constituency.


Agitated hawkers at a candle march outside VN Desai Hospital, Santacruz. Pic/Satyajit Desai

Since the incident, Dhoble has been transferred to the controls, but Dutt believes this action has been taken too late.

Late Friday night, hawkers and politicians, including Dutt, BJP city chief Raj Purohit, MLA Kripa Shankar Singh, demanded the transfer of Dhoble from Joint Commissioner Sadanand Date . They registered an FIR against him charging him with murder.

“A state CID enquiry in the matter has to take place and I am going to keep a close watch on it. There are so many witnesses who are ready to testify about the incident,” Dutt demanded.

“Dhoble treated hoteliers and hawkers like criminals. I am not saying law shouldn’t be followed, but he was following his own rules,” said Dutt. “In the past few months, over two dozen robberies, numerous chain snatching incidents took place within his jurisdiction, but Dhoble kept the entire police station busy with raiding hotels and hawkers,” she added.

Purohit, BJP city chief, claims that Dhoble had created a fear amongst local hawkers in the area. “Was Dhoble trying to imitate Salman Khan from Dabbang? What was he doing while crimes like chain-snatching and robberies were taking place? What he was doing is not his work; it is the BMC’s responsibility. We are happy he has been transferred,” said Purohit.  

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