Cops go from taking bribes to giving aid to farmers

Nov 09, 2015, 06:39 IST | Samiullah Khan

2012 batch of sub-inspectors, who were marked out for corruption, seek to turn a new leaf; they have so far donated Rs 2.5 lakh from their salaries to the drought-affected farmers for Diwali

They’re not exactly known for their giving spirit; in fact, they are notorious for taking bribes. But this Diwali, hundreds of cops from the 2011-2012 batch of Maharashtra Police have embraced the spirit of generosity and have joined hands to collect Rs 2.5 lakh as a present for drought-hit farmers and their families.

Also Read: Here are 10 phrases Mumbai's cops use to demand bribes

Cops hope to make the farmers’ lives a little brighter this Diwali. Pics for representation
Cops hope to make the farmers’ lives a little brighter this Diwali. Pics for representation

Bad reputation
This batch of 1,569 sub-inspectors has several Dirty Harrys who have caused the state police to bow their head in shame, with increasing complaints of corruption and misbehaviour piling up against them. In the past year alone, 24 cops (18 men and six women) were arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau on charges of graft (see box).

So infamous had they become for their unruly behaviour, that last year, the department sent a circular to senior inspectors across all police stations to ensure that these errant cops were only deployed for work that required minimum interaction with the public.

Read Story: Two policemen held for taking bribe in Maharashtra

But as complaints kept pouring in, many officers of this batch (batch number 108) had to be suspended. Finally, in November 2014, the entire batch was sent for a month-long training programme to sensitise them on how to deal with citizens and their grievances.

The officers were given physical training and top IPS officials lectured them on model behaviour. “They were even warned that if complaints continued against them in the future, strict action would be taken against them,” said a police source.

Perhaps it is to make a fresh start then, that these PSIs have decided to help drought-affected farmers in the state by donating money from their salaries. According to one of the cops from the batch, who had come up with the idea, it was also a way for the batch to connect to their roots.

“Many officers of batch 108 were born in farming families. Several organisations have come forward to help farmers who have been hit hard by the drought in Maharashtra. It struck me that we should also do something for this cause. I discussed the idea with some of my batchmates, who welcomed the move and promised to support it,” the PSI said.

“I was inspired by my seniors in batch 102, who had helped the family of their batchmate last year, after he was martyred during a Naxal attack in Gadchiroli. They collected R5 lakh and handed it over to the family. I want our batch to come forward and help people in a similar way,” the cop added.

Also Read: Mumbaikars prefer to pay bribes than complain to cops: ACB boss

The cops have created a WhatsApp group titled ‘Save Farmers’, in an effort to reach out to everyone in the batch, and have so far managed to collect Rs 2.5 lakh. The minimum donation amount has been kept at R1,000. Several policemen from other batches have also expressed the wish to contribute, and the cops now hope to collect as much as Rs 5 lakh.

Once the money is collected, it will be handed over to Naam Foundation, an NGO run by actor Nana Patekar, who will then distribute it among the farmers. This altruism has met with approval from the new Director General of Police Pravin Dixit, who told this paper, “Indulging in corruption is highly objectionable; donating their own funds for a cause is welcome.”

Dirty two dozen

The ACB arrested 24 PSIs on charges of graft from the 2011-12 batch between 2014 and 2015.

Jaiwant Patil
Bribe amount: Rs 2,00,000
Reason: To not register copyright and cheating case

Ganesh Kandekar
Bribe amount: Rs 30,000
Reason: To not torture accused in police custody

Santosh Kharat
Bribe amount: RS 30,000
Reason: To assist bail plea

Anita Suryavanshi
Bribe amount: Rs 20,000
Reason: To not register an offence

Kailash Gavte
Bribe amount: Rs 20,000
Reason: To return seized jeep to accused

Pravin Bhosle
Bribe amount: Rs 20,000
Reason: To prevent arrest in housebreaking case

Pradeep Vakchure
Bribe amount: Rs 14,000
Reason: To return mobile phones to accused

Dipali Shinde
Bribe amount: Rs 10,000
Reason: To weaken chargesheet

Deepak Tonde
Bribe amount: Rs 10,000
Reason: To investigate a matter in Punjab

Madhav Korantlu
Bribe amount: Rs 10,000
Reason: To release seized sand dumper

Mubarak Sheikh
Bribe amount: Rs 10,000
Reason: To ensure accused doesn’t get interim bail

Ashish Jadhav
Bribe amount: Rs 10,000
Reason: To desist from arresting complainant

Bharat Holkar
Bribe amount: Rs 7,000
Reason: To hasten investigation

Sonali Godbole
Bribe amount: Rs 6,000
Reason: To not register an offence

Bhagwat Patil
Bribe amount: Rs 5,000
Reason: To not register FIR

Digamber Diggkar
Bribe amount: Rs 5,000
Reason: To prevent externment

Prabhakar Kavde
Bribe amount: Rs 5,000
Reason: To conduct investigation properly

Mangla Jogan
Bribe amount: Rs 5,000
Reason: To not register molestation case

Sunil Bhat
Bribe amount: Rs 5,000
Reason: To produce chargesheet prematurely

Shekhar Garav
Bribe amount: Rs 5,000
Reason: To not make any objection during bail plea

Arun Kulkarni
Bribe amount: Rs 5,000
Reason: To release seized sand dumpers

Shama Sayyed
Bribe amount: Rs 4,000
Reason: To not take action against illegal tea stall

Seema Aghav
Bribe amount: Rs 4,000
Reason: To produce chargesheet prematurely

Dagdu Tadwi
Bribe amount: NA
Reason: To weaken chargesheet

Number of sub-inspectors in the 2011-12 batch

Number of officers from this batch who were arrested in corruption cases in 2014-15

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