Top Maharashtra cop in trouble for rewarding juniors for giving him VIP treatment at Shirdi temple
Departmental murmurs around controversial Aurangabad Commissioner Yashasvi Yadav after he rewards five cops Rs 15,000 for helping him with VIP darshan at busy shrine
Here's a lesson Aurangabad Commissioner of Police Yashasvi Yadav is setting for the force: It pays to suck up to seniors. During a recent visit to the Sai Baba temple in Shirdi, the top cop was so happy to be given the VIP treatment by local police, that he announced a Rs 15,000 cash reward for them - an extravagant tip for the simple service of providing a hassle-free darshan.
Aurangabad CP Yashasvi Yadav could well be the first to announce a cash reward for cops on VIP duty
Commissioner Yadav had visited the Sai temple in Shirdi with his family on October 29 and was provided 'VIP assistance' by the local cops attached with Shirdi police's temple security unit. The VIP assistance team, also known as the protocol team, arranged VIP passes for Yadav and family, who had informed about his visit in advance. After the darshan, Yadav also spent some time at the nearby police guesthouse and enjoyed refreshments before leaving, highly placed sources told mid-day.
CP Yashasvi Yadav (Aurangabad) said he does not remember issuing an order to reward the cops on VIP duty
So pleased was he with their service, that he announced a '15,000-reward for five cops – Inspector Pratap Ingale and Assistant Inspector Sachin Jadhav, along with Constables Pravin Avchar, Ravindra Sathe and Ramdas Gavhane. Officers Ingale and Jadhav were also given a C-note (Commendation note), which adds value to their service record.
Except for Gavhane, who is attached with the Aurangabad police, all cops are attached with the Shirdi police station under the Ahmednagar police.
A November 9 order issued by Yadav's office stated that the uniform turnout of the policemen was impressive, and hailed the excellent arrangements made to ensure a hassle-free Sai darshan for the CP. The cash reward is to be split equally among the five cops.
This has raised eyebrows among the top brass, as such a reward is unprecedented for cops on VIP duty, which is not considered a tough or challenging task, as compared to other policing duties such as crime detection. When senior cops and bureaucrats visit such public places with their family, they have been known to take VIP passes for entry. They also have the advantage of being assisted by the local police. So, this may well be the first time that a cash reward has been announced for such a simple task.
One of the Ahmednagar cops attached with the VIP assistance team said that he has never seen any senior officer or VIP announcing such a cash reward. "Senior officers and VIPs often send letters of appreciation to the superintendent's office, but a cash reward has never been announced before," the cop said.
The beneficiaries of Yadav's reward told this newspaper that they are not aware of any such development, as their police station has not yet received any intimation from the SP's office.
The other side
Yashasvi Yadav, Commissioner of Police (Aurangabad), told this paper, "I don't recall issuing any such order, maybe one of the DCPs issued it. But, this is a common practice."
He added, "We give rewards for such purposes. I have given rewards of Rs 8 lakh this year for crime detection and other achievements. Bandobast duty is very tough; if anything happens to a VIP, a policeman can lose his job. Rewards are meant to motivate our policemen and increase their morale. The government has now also increased the reward funds available."
Yashasvi Yadav, a 2000-batch, Maharashtra-cadre IPS officer, has returned to the state after many controversial actions during postings in Kanpur and Lucknow. He is believed to be a close friend of former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Controversies to his name include:
>> Recently, he attracted criticism for putting up a banner with a picture of him and CM Devendra Fadnavis
>> He was shunted from Kanpur for ordering a lathicharge on local doctors
>> Time and again, the IPS officer has found himself in the middle of controversies where he has been accused of favouring a political party
>> His crackdown on petrol pump owners in Kanpur, clashes with BJP activists in Navin Market and action on a Lucknow airgun businessman also attracted criticism
No. of cops given the cash reward
Total cash reward (in rupees) for the five cops
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