An RTI reply has revealed that the party’s district president Govinda Gunjalkar, from Vasai-Virar area, hasn’t paid the state government for police protection since 2010; he continues to get the privilege till this day
On the one hand, Delhi Chief Minister has been vehemently denying police security since the day he took charge, on the other, a leader belonging to the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party has been enjoying police cover absolutely free of cost.
NCP leader Govinda Gunjalkar thought he was being provided the security cover for free
Govinda Gunjalkar, the NCP leader for the Vasai-Virar area, was provided police protection in 2008 by the Protection department of the Thane (rural) police. But, since 2010, Gunjalkar hasn’t paid them a single penny. The information came to the fore after activist Azeem Tamboli filed a Right to Information (RTI) application. According to the reply, Gunjalkar owes the state government Rs 5,45,86,664 for the services provided to him.
The request filed by Tamboli had asked for a list of politicians who enjoyed police cover. Of the 16 who have the privilege, only Gunjalkar has defaulted on his payment.
According to Gunjalkar, he has had only a single constable for protection since 2008. In 2010, he claims he was attacked by local politicians, after which he applied to the state government to provide him with free security. Gunjalkar said, “I had requested for free security, as I was under threat from local politicians like Bhai Thakur. I have no idea why I have been charged. In 2010, some politicians attacked me in front of my bodyguard, who did nothing. Security was essential to my survival.”
While his application for ‘free security’ was not approved, his privilege of having one constable continued. Only, the police department continued to charge him for it. The leader says he wasn’t told about this.
Up to year 2010, till he was attacked, the rate was Rs 16,000 per month, which Gunjalkar paid. Since 2010, the charges were increased, as the salaries of police officers also went up, to Rs 55,000 per month. He hasn’t paid the State since then.
As per his calculations, Gunjalkar claims to owe only Rs 46 lakh to the state government. As per the guidelines, the police department charges 120 per ce nt interest per month on the pending amount, and, hence, the amount accrued is large. “I’ve written to the Thane (rural) police, asking for an explanation for the huge amount. I have not gotten a reply yet,” he added.
When contacted about the matter, Police Inspector Tambaate, of the Protection department of the Thane (rural) police told MiD DAY, “I don’t have details regarding the issue.” He refused to reveal anything more on the phone to this reporter. Meanwhile, Gunjalkar continues to enjoy police cover.