Mumbai: Rs 300 fine turns into extortion as Wadala GRP cops forge papers
Six police officers booked for taking the money from a youth, but not making an entry for it in their online register; 27-yr-old victim not given receipt either
The infamous Wadala Government Railway Police (GRP) has once again landed in trouble for extorting money from a 27-year-old boy and trying to forge documents to cover-up their act. Six police officers have been booked for taking a fine of '300 from the youth, who was travelling in a local train coach for handicapped people, but not making an entry of it in the CCTNS system (an online database of cops for registering information of offences and accused). They had also not issued him a receipt.
On January 7, the culprits were on patrol duty at the Wadala railway station when around 11.30 am they caught nine passengers travelling in a wrong coach of a CST-bound train. All of them were taken to the police station. "Nine passengers were fined '1,200, but 27-year-old Abbas Ali Khan said he didn't have money," said an officer of Wadala GRP. "Abbas was travelling from Govandi to Reach Road when he was caught at the station. When he told the cops on duty that he was new to the city and was not aware that there were separate compartments for handicapped people, they took him to the police station. My son got scared and started crying. He gave them '300 that he had in his pocket and called me up," said Subrato Ali Khan, Abbas's father.
Sources said Assistant Sub-Inspector Ashok Kute entered details regarding the fines collected from nine people in the CCTNS, but not for the amount he took from Abbas. When he narrated the incident to his father, Subrato complained about it to DCP Purushottam Karad, who informed Senior PI Rajendra Pal and ordered an inquiry.
Investigation into the matter revealed that the incident happened just after senior PI of Wadala GRP got transferred and main culprit Rajendra Pal was given charge of the police station for two days. Later, on January 7 evening Pal took over charge as the PI. When he went through the roster that day, he found that the register for non-cognisable offences had mention of only nine names of passengers with their signatures below them. He signed on the page and asked Abbas to meet him at the police station the following day.
"When we went to the police station on January 8, all the six officers who had taken action against him were present. They told us that the senior inspector was not present and took my son's signature in the register," said Subrato. When Pal called up Abbas later in the day and asked him why he hadn't shown up at the police station, he said his subordinates informed him that he wasn't present. Pal sensed that something was wrong and asked Abbas to meet him outside the police station. "We told him whatever had happened, after which he assured to take action against the culprits," added Subrato.
When Pal checked the register again, he found that Abbas's name and signature were added later, as only nine names were entered in the CCTNS on the day of the incident. Thereafter, an FIR was registered against the six officers. Pal said, "Preliminary probe reveals that the cops forged documents. They have been booked under sections 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine, a forged documents) and 34 (common intention) of IPC. Necessary action will be taken against them." When contacted, DCP Karad said, "We have a zero tolerance policy in case of any misconduct by cops. Departmental action will be taken against the officers."
Not the first time
April 2018: A 17-year-old boy apprehended by the Kurla RPF was handed over to the Wadala GRP. He died after a couple days. His family alleges torture by the Wadala GRP cops. Oct 2017: Two constables of Wadala GRP, P B Patil and Sumit Chavan were booked for extorting money from passengers on the pretext of checking their luggage. April 2014: Twenty-five-year-old Agnelo Valdaris was picked up by the Wadala GRP cops along with three others in a chain-snatching case. When his body was found on the railway tracks three days later, the cops termed it a train accident. However, the other three boys had alleged that he was tortured in custody.
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