The Azad Maidan police officials have registered an FIR against Avinash Madhav Sonavane, senior inspector attached with Mahim police station, for allegedly receiving a gold chain as a bribe from a woman complainant who had approached him to investigate a theft.
Acting on a complaint filed by Chitra Salunkhe on August 9, cops registered the case (copy available with MiD DAY) against Sonavane under section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code. Salunkhe (51) is a resident of Chembur, who teaches at Siddharth College in Fort.
Senior police officials from Azad Maidan police station confirmed the development, stating that Sonavane is subject to an ongoing departmental investigation.
“The FIR has been registered against Sonavane,” said Narendra Singh, senior police inspector.
The theft incident dates back to 2005, when Salunkhe had registered an FIR at Azad Maidan police station after 200 books, including some law books, were stolen from her cabin in the college. Sonavane was posted at Azad Maidan police station and was appointed as the investigating officer.
On the pretext of probing the incident, Sonavane allegedly started harassing her, calling her to the police station daily and making her sit at the station for long hours. “Without doing the spot panchnama, Sonavane used to call me to the station and order me to sit for the entire day. He used to also threaten me stating that there are several allegations against me. One day, he opened his drawer and asked me to put money inside to investigate the matter properly. Having no cash with me, I put my gold chain weighing 22 grams,” said Salunkhe.
Later, Sonavane was transferred to Gamdevi police station, and on February 2, 2010 Salunkhe met him to enquire about the progress in the case. She told him that if the matter has not been resolved, Sonavane should return her chain. Sonavane agreed to return the chain, but according to Salunkhe later he stopped responding to her calls.
On March 23, 2010, Salunkhe lodged a complaint against Sonavane to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) zone-II, which was later forwarded to the DCP from zone-I.
On July 22, 2013, the DCP forwarded the complaint to the Azad Maidan police station and, on August 9, Azad Maidan officials registered the case against Sonavane.
Recently, MiD DAY had published an article, ‘Mumbai cop with 20 complaints against name ‘rewarded’,’ July 27) wherein, 20 serious complaints against Sonavane while he was posted at LT Marg police station.
The other side
“I am aware of the FIR filed by Chitra Salunkhe. Her allegations are false. I am not going to seek an anticipatory bail. Several leaders have gone to jail recently. I am ready to undergo any test like Narco, brain mapping or lie detector. But, these tests should also be carried out on her,” said Sonavane.