“I am scared to visit the police station. Anyone can insult you there.” As understandable as such an utterance may sound coming from one of us, this candid admission of fear managed to raise quite a few eyebrows, when it came from a former member of the khaki force itself, that too one who rose to the stature of Director General of Police.
Arvind Inamdar, once the state’s top cop, lashed out at his former colleagues at a book launch on Sunday, complaining about their rude behaviour with members of the general populace who visit police stations seeking redressal for their grievances. Not stopping there, Inamdar renamed the local police stations as ‘hafta stations’.
The former cop’s tirade came at the Veer Savarkar Hall at Shivaji Park in Dadar, where Inamdar addressed invitees as chief speaker for the launch of Khaki Gulab, a volume of poetry penned by Senior Police Inspector Sanjeev Kokil. Inamdar denounced the absence of manners in the police force at the event that was attended by 500 guests, including renowned poet and Padma Vibhushan awardee Mangesh Padgaonkar, Pandit Dajishashtri Panshikar and well-known director-producer Kiran Shantaram.
Inamdar, an IPS officer, was transferred 29 times over 35 years of service in the state’s police force. He was allegedly forced to take voluntary retirement (VRS) a year before it was due. Inamdar was not the only one to launch an invective against the police force. Just before he took the dais, the poet-cop Kokil had related the ordeal he has suffered over the last two years in service, after he raised his voice against his abrupt and premature transfer from MRA Marg to the Local Arms unit. In his speech, Kokil said that the department had harassed him to such an extent that a person with a weaker temperament would have thought of committing suicide.
“If there was any other officer in my place, he would have committed suicide. There have been instances where the officers have ended their lives due to the cruelty meted out to them by their superiors.” “I’m scared of going to police stations in Mumbai,” Inamdar said, empathising with Kokil’s travails. “Take a test,” he said, addressing Padgaonkar and Kokil, “You too go and see the result. Anyone, even a hawaldar, can insult you.”
When MiD DAY called Inamdar the next day, he vented more spleen, saying, “I know there is lot of pressure from politicians, but the least policemen can do is behave properly with visitors in the police stations. But none of the policemen, including the constables, follow this basic rule.” Asked why he christened police stations ‘hafta stations’, he denounced the way in which cops collect money from the common people, harassing them for no reason.