The other 'Dhoble' you didn't know

Aug 01, 2012, 06:14 IST | Bhupen Patel

ACP Feroz Patel has been quietly raiding bars, rescuing women from brothels, while the spotlight has been on his hockey stick-wielding colleague; MiD DAY caught the media-shy cop on camera during a raid at a Sion bar on Monday night

Almost everyone in the after-dark party circuit is familiar with Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble’s reputation and rigidness, but another name has been long ignored, though the individual’s track record deserves accolades.

All in a day’s work: ACP Feroz Patel outside Madhosh bar. He has been raiding bars and other spots for the past year and a half. Pic/Suresh KK

Dhoble’s colleague, Feroz Patel, has been raiding brothels, rescuing children forced into work and reuniting street kids with their families, but has chosen to stay out of the limelight and not gloat about his achievements.

12 girls were rescued from the bar. Pics/Suresh KK

Patel, a 1981 batch officer, has been serving as ACP (Enforcement) since March 2011. During the one year and four months he has been with the enforcement unit so far, Patel has raided dozens of ladies bars and red light dens and his work is not restricted to only controlling the nightlife in the city.

Silent worker: A rare photograph of ACP Feroz Patel (in white shirt) while he carries out a raid at Madhosh Bar in Sion Koliwada on Monday night.

Patel along with his team have conducted over 60 operations till date. He has reunited around 1,200 kids with their respective families in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh and other parts of the country. He heads the Counselling Cell and has counselled couples and saved 436 marriages last year, while till June this year, he has counselled around 226 couples.

Despite an impeccable track record and going out of his way to do his duty, the ACP has chosen to avoid the media glare.

“It is a part of my duty. Solving marriage disputes and reuniting children with their families, gives me immense job satisfaction. I abide by my superior’s orders and conduct raids as and when we receive information,” Patel said when asked about his profile.

In a rare instance however, Patel and his team were caught on film while carrying out a raid at Madhosh Bar in Sion Koliwada on Monday night. The team succeeded in rescuing 12 young women during the raid.

Unlike Dhoble, who had been in the news for instances of high-handedness, a study of the raid footage shows Patel as a calm and composed person. In the past year, Dhoble’s overbearance made headlines across the nation and the ACP further gave rise to controversy by assaulting staff at a juice outlet in the city with a hockey stick.

This is being seen as one of the reasons Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik issued a circular to all police stations in the city ordering them to clamp down on bars and other such establishments, rather than putting Dhoble and his team on the job, which could stir up further controversy.

Number of raids Patel has conducted with his team

Number of women he rescued from Madhosh bar in Sion on Monday night 

What sets them apart

Name: Vasant Dhoble
Age: 56
Batch: 1978
Designation: ACP, Social Service Branch
Previous posting: Vidhan Sabha (security)

Suspended (1989): for taking bribe in Pune
Sentenced (1994): to seven yrs imprisonment & Rs 1 lakh fine for custodial death of Abdul Gaffer Khan after alleged torture (Jail term overthrown by HC in 1996)
Dismissed (1994): for custodial death (Khan) (reinstated in 1996)
Pending: Departmental enquiry for Khan’s custodial death (after SC order)
Responsible for: Misplacing 12 dossiers related to gangster Dawood Ibrahim

Name: Feroz Patel

Batch: 1981
Age: 54
Designation: ACP, Enforcement
Previous posting: Senior Police Inspector, Crime Branch, UnitXI
Controversies: Nil

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