The Union Home ministry may be shouting itself hoarse ordering states to book police officers if they refuse to register an FIR (First Information Report), but it seems to have little effect on Mumbai cops.
The Titwala police in Thane (rural) district, for instance, took all of six years to register an FIR against a powerful businessman, even though Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had verbally asked the local collector to investigate into the matter. The complainant, a tribal farmer, had been running from pillar to post since 2007, seeking to file an FIR and get justice.
According to the complainant, 70-year-old Mahadu Nago Sid, the accused -- Prakash Khemchand Budhrani, had grabbed his 13-acre agriculture land after forging documents. The land incidentally is currently valued at Rs 60 crore.
Finally last week, the cops registered an FIR (copy available with SUNDAY MiD DAY) against Budhrani, his wife Nisha, son Vishal and daughter Sheetal, along with their accomplices, Sudha Phadke, Prabhakar Agarkar and Alaknanda Natu. According to the police, in 2007 Sid, a resident of Kamba village in Kalyan realised that the accused had removed his name from the land documents and inserted their names instead. Sid who is illiterate, then gave a power of attorney to social activist Vishal Gupta to fight the case.
Gupta alleged that he had tried in vain to get an FIR registered despite complaining nearly 100 times and meeting officials of concerned departments. In the meantime, the Budhrani family constructed an office building on 50,000 sq feet land of Sid’s plot, in an area reserved as a mortuary.
On May 6 this year, Gupta met Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. “The CM ordered the local collector to look into the matter and find out how Budhrani got water and electricity connection on encroached land. But when I asked the collector later, he said he had not initiated an inquiry since the CM had not given an order in writing,” Gupta said.
Last week, Gupta and others met state ADG VD Mishra who promptly ordered the Titwala cops to register an FIR. “We have registered an FIR and the matter is under investigation. We have asked the revenue department for details,” said PR Bhor, deputy superintendent of police.