Mumbai crime: Modus operandi in meow meow drug case revealed

May 31, 2015, 09:05 IST | Vinay Dalvi

The arrested police officials helped Shashikala alias Baby Patankar flee and didn’t help with the Crime Branch’s investigations in spite of knowing her whereabouts

More details about the Meow Meow case emerged on Saturday, as the five arrested police officials’ modus operandi came to light. The accused officials were arrested on Friday for having links with drug peddler Shashikala alias Baby Patankar for allegedly being a part of a meow meow drug syndicate. Those arrested include senior police inspector Suhas Umakant Gokhale, 57, from the Azad Maidan unit of Anti Narcotics cell, Gautam Anna Gaikwad, 58, police inspector from Igatpuri police station; Sudhakar Keshav Sarang, 47, attached to Azad Maidan, Anti Narcotics Cell; Jyotiran Shivram Mane, 55 from the Crime Branch Control and Yeshwant Shantaram Parte, 52, from the Azad Maidan unit of the Anti Narcotics Cell.

One of the five police personnel arrested. Pic/Shadab Khan
One of the five police personnel arrested. Pic/Shadab Khan

According to sources, former head constable and Patankar’s boyfriend, Dharmaraj Baburao Kalokhe, who was arrested on March 9 in Satara after being caught with around 124 kgs of Mephedrone (MD), refused to give the party drug to the accused officials. In retaliation, the officials allegedly conspired to get him arrested. The Mumbai Crime Branch also suspect that Patankar, who remains in jail, acted as a mere front and that the whole drug business belonged to the policemen who helped her flee after a case was registered against her. The Crime Branch suspected that Gokhale, who was supposed to retire on Saturday, even financed and helped Patankar.

"While going through Shashikala’s call history, we realised that she was in touch with several policemen and we called them for interrogation," said a police officer from the Mumbai Crime Branch, on condition of anonymity.

Plan of action
According to sources, Gaikwad allegedly met Patankar at her residence in Worli on March 10 and asked her to flee after she was wanted by the Satara police, post Kalokhe’s arrest. Gokhale shared her new mobile number with his seniors and even placed three to four calls to Patankar later. Sudhakar Sarang, Jyotiram Mane and Yeshwant Parte too, are also suspected of being in regular touch with Patankar after she escaped. In spite of knowing about Patankar’s whereabouts, he did not help the investigative agency in their search attempts.

"We suspect that as the others (accused officials) were partners in the business and when Kalokhe refused to give around 130 kgs of Mephedrone, the business must have suffered huge losses. They decided to teach him a lesson. So Gokhale told his seniors that he had a tip-off about a constable having huge consignment of drugs. But when he was denied permission to pursue the case as it fell under the Satara police station’s jurisdiction, he told Parte and Mane to pass on the information to the Satara police," said the police officer. All of them have been booked under Section 22, 29, 27 (A), 59 (1), under relevant sections of NDPS Act and Maharashtra Police Act. They will remain under police custody till June 4.

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