Shashikala alias Baby Patankar knows how to nurse a grudge. The drug kingpin, notoriously dubbed the meow-meow queen, who ran her operation out of Worli and was arrested in March last year, got Satara Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Deepak Vithhoba Humbare (50) arrested on Saturday for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from her.
Baby Patankar and DV Humbare
Humbare allegedly accepted the bribe through his private aide, Yuvraj Vitthalrao Dhamal (43), to file a favourable report in the Satara sessions court for Patankar’s discharge from a case filed by the Satara police under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in March 2015.
Laying the trap
Patankar was caught by the Satara police for supplying drugs to her boyfriend and constable Dharmraj Kalokhe. Police also seized around 110 kg of what they assumed was party drug mephedrone from Kalokhe’s residence in Satara. The seized substance was later tested by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Hyderabad, which clarified that it was just monosodium glutamate - a flavour enhancer - and not the banned psychotropic substance. Patankar then filed a discharge application in the Satara court.
Recently, Patankar asked Humbare to file a report in court on the FSL’s findings. To submit a favourable report, the DySP allegedly demanded Rs 5 lakh.
Last week, Patankar approached the anti-corruption bureau (ACB), Mumbai, and lodged a complaint against Humbare and Dhamal.
An ACB source said Patankar had asked Humbare to get both her and her boyfriend discharged from the case.
Another source said a preliminary inquiry revealed that Humbare had taken a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from Patankar in the past.
A senior ACB officer confirmed the arrest and said of the Rs 5-lakh bribe, the currency notes of only Rs 1 lakh were genuine and the rest were fake bundles.
Another senior officer said Humbare and Dhamal will be produced in court today. “Both their houses are being searched.”
An ACB team comprising senior Mumbai officers had set off for Satara to trap Humbare, as they afraid that the local unit would warn the DySP.
Patankar and her sons, Satish and Girish, were arrested by the Mumbai crime branch last year on the charges of supplying mephedrone to Kalokhe. Satara police, too, arrested them, and seized 110 kg of alleged mephedrone from the Satara residence of Kalokhe and another 12 kg from his cupboard at the Marine Drive police station.
In the case later Mumbai crime branch had arrested five policemen, including senior inspector of Azad Maidan an Anti-Narcotic Cell unit’ Suhas Gokhale in June last year for their alleged nexus with Patankar and Kalokhe.
Not the first ambush
In February 2011, Patankar had tipped-off the city police, following which Assistant Commissioner Of Police (equivalent to the rank of a DySP) Ashok Dhawale was arrested in Worli for allegedly carrying 2 kg of brown sugar in his official police vehicle. The Mumbai crime branch had arrested Dhawale, along with a local drug peddler, Munna. The drug was then estimated to be worth around R2 crore in the international market. Dhawale was also attached to the anti-narcotics cell in 1997. The 1981 batch sub-inspector was involved in several drug seizures during his stint in the anti-narcotics cell, and it was this time that Patankar and he came into contact. Dhavale was dismissed from service under Section 311 of the Bombay Police Act.
In April 2015, Patankar had told the Mumbai sessions court that while she was in police custody, Humbare had abused her and made vulgar gestures at her for “ruining the police’s image”.