Mumbai: As Bhandup turns crime hub, senior cop sacked

Aug 09, 2018, 15:37 IST | Anurag Kamble

Quick money, gambling and drugs are behind the eastern suburb's rising crime graph recently

Mumbai: As Bhandup turns crime hub, senior cop sacked
The majority of Bhandup's population resides in illegal hutments. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

With eight murders in seven months, 10 attempt to murder cases and hundreds of incidents of assault, gangland has taken over Bhandup. Fed up with Bhandup police's inefficiency, the top brass shunted out Senior Police Inspector Shrinivas Panhale to the Local Arms division on Tuesday. Ramesh Khade has been posted as the new senior Inspector of the police station.

A week ago, Bhandup was rocked by the brutal murder of 17-year-old Sushil Verma. The Std XII student was killed by a group of teens right outside his college in broad daylight on July 26. While the cops arrested three suspects, the murder sparked a debate about inefficient policing.

Sanjay Dina Patil, Ex-MP from the NCP
Senior Police Inspector Shrinivas Panhale 

"We consistently told the cops about the situation turning from bad to worst in Bhandup, but they didn't pay any attention. This resulted in the murder of a 17-year-old, which could have avoided by increasing patrolling," said Ramesh Khanvilkar, Director of RK BEd College, Bhandup. "Due to the police's lethargy, addiction among youngsters in on the rise," he added.

A public meeting was organised on August 2 to discuss the rising crime. Politicians across parties urged the police to take action against Matka rackets active in Bhandup. Residents urged that rigorous policing is key to reducing the crime rate. Sanjay Dina Patil, ex-MP from the NCP, said, "Bhandup is becoming a den for drug peddlers; the police must act to prevent any future incidents."

More money and 'bhais'
The new senior PI now faces the challenge of cleaning up crime in the growing suburb. There are 15 lakh residents in this jurisdiction, a majority of whom live in illegal hutments. Two year ago, the police had started a special drive against gangsters, and found three gunny bags of swords in the forest on the hillside.

A policeman who had earlier served as a senior police at the Bhandup police station, said, "In Bhandup, there is a lot of SRA work, which has brought money to the area. This has become a catalyst for youngsters to turn gangsters. Increasing hutments on the hills makes it more difficult for cops to enter as well." "In such a situation, the police have to physically start patrolling the area, which will curb crime to some extent, and reduce the flow of narcotics — mainly ganja — in the pipeline area," the officer added.

Since last year…
Shrinivas Panhale had taken charge of the Bhandup police station on May 20, 2017, but couldn't manage to curb crime or drug flow. According to police statistics, last year, till August, not a single murder had been reported, while three cases of attempt to murder were filed. But this year, eight murders and 10 attempts to murder have been registered in the same period.

Murder central
July 26: Sushil Verma was killed by teen over an affair with a girl.
May 3: Birbal Gupta killed his wife Neha in front of their kids after an altercation over attending a wedding
April 24: Ganesh Padekar, 45, murdered a 30-year-old who had thrown garbage on him
March 25: Naresh Shetty, 27, out on bail, was murdered over a love affair
March 24: A 17-year-old stabbed Ramji Rajbhar, 27, when he objected to the minor blowing cigarette smoke on him
March 18: A vegetable vendor and his two sons were killed after a fight or where to set up their stall

Also Read: Sacked cop posed as policeman to extort money from couples at Aksa

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