Even as Mahesh Mehta was helping his mother and mentally-challenged son walk into a restaurant next door, Navi Mumbai DCP Purshottam Karad, upset that Mehta's car had blocked his path, allegedly abused and then roughed up the entrepreneur. An inquiry has now been initiated against the cop
Unable to accept that a common citizen had parked his car closer to a restaurant he was trying to enter, a deputy commissioner of police (DCP) with the Navi Mumbai police force forgot his job was to protect citizens and not assault them. DCP Purshottam Karad allegedly stepped out of his car, abused Mahesh Mehta, the 54-year-old businessman who was driving the car. When Mehta pleaded to get a few minutes to help his ailing mother and mentally challenged son walk into the restaurant, promising to move his car after that, a furious Karad roughed him up.
When his wife came to his aid, Karad allegedly abused her too. Not satisfied, he summoned his juniors, a few on duty cops and imposed an on-the-spot fine of Rs 200 on Mehta for ‘obstructing traffic’ and preventing a public servant from parking his car. Interestingly, the ‘public servant’ was then in civil clothes though he was travelling in his official car.
Mehta, whose wife, too, is handicapped, was out to celebrate New Year’s Eve with his entire family, including his other son and daughter. The businessman has now filed an official complaint with the Navi Mumbai police commissioner (Copy available with SUNDAY MiDDAY) demanding action against Karade.
Navi Mumbai police commissioner AK Sharma told SUNDAY MiD DAY, “I am aware of the case. The Zonal Additional Commissioner is conducting an inquiry in to the matter.” This is not Karad’s first brush with the law. He is already under investigation for alleged negligence of duty in the builder Sunil Kumar Lahoria murder case.
Mehta, who runs a steel business in Navi Mumbai, said he had gone to the Bhagat Tarachand restaurant in Sanpada with his family to have dinner on December 31. “I stopped my car outside the restaurant’s entrance, as my mother is 80 years old and finds it very difficult to walk. In any case, there was enough space on the other side for other cars to pass. My other family members were still inside the car, as I was taking my mother inside the restaurant first,” he said.
As it happens, DCP Karad who was travelling in his official car, was passing by. Apparently the cop’s car found it tough to go past Mehta’s car. A constable then got down from the DCP’s car and asked Mehta to move his vehicle immediately. “I explained that I would do so as soon as I took my mother inside andthat there was enough space for other cars to pass,” said Mehta.
This infuriated the DCP and he came out of his car in civil attire and allegedly started hurling abuses at Mehta. “He slapped me and threatened to put me in the police lockup. Watching all this, my son who is mentally challenged, started screaming and my wife came to my aid, but Karad even abused her,” Mehta claimed.
Mehta further alleged that the DCP then snatched his car key and asked a policeman to book him. Karad then called an officer of the local Turbhe police and fined Mehta R200 for wrongful parking, before stomping off.
Mehta said, “Karad used filthy language and hit me. There is a CCTV camera outside the hotel. The police can check for evidence.”
When SMD met him on Saturday, he said, “I want proper action to be taken against this insensitive DCP. My whole family is in a state of shock and scared now due to such behaviour from a police officer. It’s his job to maintain peace and order and not to abuse and issue illegal threats to the common man. The DCP should be charged for voluntarily causing hurt, outraging the modesty of a woman and intimidation.”
Thankfully, the Mehtas did not sit quietly. On January 1, they met Navi Mumbai police commissioner AK Sharma who assured them of strict action against the cop if he is found guilty. Mehta said, “But till now nothing has been done. Even our statements have not been taken.”
Admitting that an inquiry had been initiated and also that he had an altercation with Mehta, DCP Karad said, “All the allegations made by him are false. He was obstructing traffic and he was even penalised for that by the Turbhe police on the spot. My constable approached him to move his car and he was very rude. When I went to calm him down, he was rude yet again. Other people were getting disturbed due to him. My constable is an eyewitness in the case. I never hit Mehta.”