Assistant Commissioner of Police (Social Service Branch) Vasant Dhoble, the policeman whose job is secure largely due to the unwavering trust the police commissioner has in his policing style, has been told to cool it for a few days. Till Tuesday to be precise, as Arup Patnaik, commissioner of Mumbai police, is in the United States of America on official work, and is expected to be back on Tuesday.
Dhoble, who has garnered both fame and notoriety due to his style of working while raiding pubs, discotheques and bars, has been asked by the police chief to avoid any controversy till he returns, and to take it easy.
Very few raids have been conducted since June 30 since the time the commissioner left the country. Dhoble carried out only one raid at Gopal Krishna hotel, Dadar West (near Kabaturkhana) wherein he fined patrons for smoking in the bar premises, and charged the owners for allowing smokers to smoke despite a ban on smoking in hotels. Since then there hasn’t been any major raid at bars or pubs in places like Andheri, Bandra, Mulund or Dahisar.
“If Dhoble gets into any controversy by raiding a pub or a bar, there would be nobody to save him. The commissioner has stood behind Dhoble and his work since the beginning, and that’s the reason Dhoble has stood his ground, despite anger from some sections of people, especially partygoers,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.
Only last week there was an anti-Dhoble rally organised in the suburbs where around 1,000 people had gathered to protest Dhoble’s policing style. There was also a rally organised in support of Dhoble, and even CM Prithiviraj Chavan and Home minister R R Patil have backed Dhoble, having considerable faith in him. “But Dhoble has a rowdy style of working, as he beats up anybody in the bar, sometimes even customers during his raid. Moreover, his informers have also extorted money from beer bars, in exchange protection from raids. One informer, Agnel Weldaris, was even arrested by the D B Marg police, as he had breached the bond of externment,” said a police officer.
“The commissioner is out of town on an official visit, and is expected back on Tuesday,” said Nisar Tamboli, deputy commissioner of police.