At a time when the Mumbai police department is desperate to save face in the wake of a spate of corruption charges, the men in khaki seem unconcerned with the beating their image has taken in public. In yet another incident of burking, officers at Malad police station contented themselves by filing a mere non-cognisable (NC) complaint in a clear case of robbery, where some unidentified accused ransacked valuables from a car in Thursday’s early hours after smashing its windowpanes.
Earlier, MiD DAY had reported how MHB Colony police officials kept a 64-year-old Borivli woman waiting late at night for hours and then tried persuading her not to file an FIR after a biker snatched her gold chain. (‘Dear Mr COP, look how your cops treat elderly victims’). In Thursday’s incident, when the robbery victim approached the police, officials brushed him off after registering an NC.
On Wednesday morning, Kalina resident Mehmood Qureshi had admitted his father at Riddhivinayak Hospital in Malad. “My father had 99 per cent blockage and underwent an urgent angioplasty on Wednesday morning. He was due to get discharged the next morning,” Qureshi said, adding that he decided to spend the night at the hospital to attend to his father.
Around 1 am on Thursday, Qureshi went to his car to charge his mobile phone and listen to music. He said, “Late in the night, when I felt sleepy, the doctors arranged for some accommodation for me. So I parked my car outside the hospital and went in. A security guard was seated next to my car.”
When Qureshi woke up the next morning, he found his car’s glasses broken and several items missing. He said, “The security guard was still seated next to my car. When I asked him about it, he pretended that he did not even know what had happened. He said, ‘Mein toh so raha tha. Mujhe kuch nahi pata’.”
The hospital premises are watched over by CCTV cameras, but at the time of the incident none of them were working. “On Thursday I got my father discharged and went straight to Malad police station. I explained everything in detail to the cops but they only registered an NC in the matter,” Qureshi said.
In the incident, Qureshi lost his wallet, mobile phone, debit card and PAN card, music system and AC coil. His car has been damaged. “The repair alone will cost me about Rs 50,000. I need my valuables back. The incident obviously happened in front of the security guard. Why was he not questioned by the police?”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Mahesh Patil (zone XI) said, “In such a case, an FIR is supposed to be registered. I will investigate why an NC was filed instead of the FIR. I will personally speak to the complainant.” A police officer said on condition of anonymity, “It is a clear case of burking. There will surely be an inquiry in the matter. It is terrible work, and negligent on the part of the Malad police officer.” He added, “At this time, there are many charges of corruption against the police department, like the ones in Nehru Nagar and Mumbra. The police should try and build up their image in front of the public.”