Three on-duty police officers, including a senior inspector, have been caught on camera celebrating the birthday of the brother of a robbery accused in Ulhasnagar.
The police officers, who were in uniform, presented bouquets and fed cake to the birthday boy, a BJP leader, in the presence of the accused.
MiD DAY is in possession of a CD that shows Senior Inspector of Ulhasnagar-1 police station Siddharth Wagh, Inspector (Crime) Mahendra Chavhan and Sub-Inspector Vishal Padir at the birthday celebrations of Prakash Makhija in Ulhasnagar-2 on June 5.
Makhija is a well-known businessman and a member of the BJP state committee. Wagh, Chavhan and Padir first give Makhija a bouquet. Later they are seen feeding cake to Makhija. Joint Commissioner of Police Bipin Kumar Singh said the matter would be looked into.
“Send the CD to me. We will conduct an inquiry into the matter,” Singh said.
On November 29, 2011, an FIR (copy available with MiD DAY) was registered (CR No- 187/2011) under Sections 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing or in attempting to commit robbery) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC against Prakash Makhija’s brother Babu and two others.
Chavhan was the investigation officer in the case. Chavhan allegedly took false witnesses’ statements and also removed Section 394 and registered the case under the milder Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC.
This made the complainant file a suit against Chavhan. On February 14 this year, the court passed an order to reinvestigate the matter. Since then, the matter has been under investigation.
There have also been other allegations in the past against Chavhan. On April 12, a former NCP corporator, Manoj Sadhwani, registered an extortion FIR against Chavhan at his own police station.
An inquiry is also on against Chavhan for swapping ornaments worth lakhs recovered from crooks with imitation jewellery.
The other side
Prakash Makhija said, “It is true that the officers attended my birthday party. I have no criminal record. I am very clean person. My brother Babu was falsely implicated in the robbery case. He is a big businessman. How can he rob a gold chain? That was a politically motivated matter. Also, the matter is being re-investigated.” While, Senior Inspector Siddharth Wagh did not take calls despite repeated attempts to contact him, Inspector Mahendra Chavhan said, “I attended the party with my senior. That was a personal visit. Relations need to be maintained.”
The BJP said it was not Makhija’s fault if the police officers came over to wish him on his birthday. Ulhasnagar city BJP president Jamnu Puruswani said, “Ulhasnagar is a small city and relations develop and are automatically maintained. I have not seen the CD. But in our opinion, Makhija is not at fault. The fault is from the police side. Why did they visit birthday party?”