Mumbai: We chased, tracked down 150 criminals in Bhandup, says Ramesh Khade
New senior inspector who took charge in August, details steps taken to clean up suburb's frightening reputation
With gang wars and seasoned criminals giving Bhandup a bad name, the Mumbai Police decided it was time to show Senior Inspector at Bhandup police station the door and chalked out a special policy with the Mumbai police chief to curb the menace. Residents can expect some relief soon. Ramesh Khade, the newly-appointed senior inspector at the station, tells us what has changed since he took charge.
When you were posted at the Bhandup police station, what were some of the most pressing issues here?
When I took charge in August 2018, there were eight murder cases on record, excluding a domestic murder. Also, there was a gang-war like situation here with small-time thugs having a free run, even conducting illegal businesses. Developers of SRA projects in the area were facing threats and extortion. Drug abuse was at its peak along with eve teasing around schools and colleges.
What has changed in the last four months of your tenure here?
When I was given charge of the police station, we formed a detailed policy under the guidance of Additional Commissioner (East region) and DCP (Zone 7) and began implementing it. The first step was to have dedicated teams to resolve issues. A list of serious crime offenders was prepared with over 150 names. They were chased and tracked down by our teams. We then revived four beat chowkis to resolve petty issues in residential areas. Rigorous patrolling was initiated, emphasising on foot patrolling which reinforced police presence in the area. Finally, we decided to keep a special tab on sensitive areas like schools, colleges, and the Tansa Pipeline which is a hub of criminals. The result of this tireless work of our teams is visible now.
Is there an evident reduction in the crime rate?
Certainly! If you check the records, there isn't a single murder case in the jurisdiction in the recent past. There were two incidents of attempt to murder but our thick network of informers helped us catch the culprits from the site of incident. Every complaint was addressed with seriousness and brought on record, which has comforted citizens. There hasn't been a single complaint of eve-teasing or ragging from schools or colleges in the last few months. With well-coordinated and enhanced police-citizens relations, we are being able to get instant information to avert crimes. Drug menace was quite pronounced in Bhandup with the Tansa pipeline being the big den of peddlers as well as revelers. It is on our target. We have formed a dedicated Anti-Narcotics team with a Police Sub Inspector in charge of it. Also, help from neighbouring police stations is sought during raids.
Are special measure being undertaken to curb crime?
Yes, we have prepared a list of seven habitual offenders involved in offences against human body (which can cause murder). They will be externed after following due process. Counselling is also on our mind but we haven't begun such awareness programmes yet. Four months is a small period to settle in a police station catering to a population of 12.8 lakh (according to 2011 census). But you can witness the real change in the near future.
Mumbaikars react to Narendra Modi's rally in BKC