Turd-Degree torture: Malad top cop locks loo, denies access to counterparts
Bangur Nagar police station, which has 150 cops, and their 175 colleagues in Malad, are housed in the same premises. Last month, Malad top cop decides to lock counterparts out of the loo, and all hell breaks loose, literally
The pressure is on at Bangur Nagar police station, but there is no relief in sight for the cops, who have been locked out of the only functioning common toilet. Shockingly, they were denied access by one of their own: the new senior inspector of Malad police station, which shares the compound with them. For the past month, he hasn't let them use the loo, not even when one had diarrhoea. The poor constable ended up soiling his pants.
The Bangur Nagar police don't use their own toilet, as it is decrepit and unsanitary
It's not just the Bangur Nagar cops who can't use the toilet; even complainants and visitors have been locked out by the Malad cops, who guard the loo's key fiercely. The Bangur Nagar police have their own loo, but no one uses it because it is decrepit and unsanitary. When mid-day visited it, the toilet was dank, dark and stinking. The lights barely work there, the floor is filthy and on the way to the loo, one has to go past a secluded lot that is home to snakes and other creatures.
A frustrated constable at Bangur Nagar police station told mid-day that when holding it in is no longer possible, he runs to a nearby pay-and-use toilet run by the BMC. But running outside is not as easy when the cops have a bad case of the runs.
A constable recalled an incident when even an unwell constable's 'doo-key' couldn't unlock the Malad police's toilet. "Recently, a hawaldar's stomach was upset, but he came to work anyway. After a while, he could not fight the pressure any longer, and soiled his uniform. He requested the senior officer to let him return home, citing his poor health," said the cop.
George Fernandes, senior PI, Malad police, Vijay Bane, senior PI, Bangur Nagar police and Sangramsinh Nishandar, DCP (Zone IV)
But why are the Malad police putting their brethren through such crap? One of the cops explained that during the recent reshuffling of officers across state, the senior inspectors of both the police stations changed. The new senior inspector of Malad police station, George Fernandes, put a lot of emphasis on Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, and when he saw the unhygienic condition of the common toilet, he took up the matter with his Bangur Nagar counterpart, senior PI Vijay Bane.
The duo got into an argument over the state of the washroom, "In a fit of rage, Fernandes ordered that the toilet be locked. For the past month, we have been running to nearby BMC toilets and markets, or to a friend's house or shop, to answer nature's call," said another constable deployed at Bangur Nagar police station.
He added, "The Malad police never forget to lock the toilet; once a constable had mistakenly left the toilet unlocked, and he was pulled up severely by his seniors." Malad's senior PI, Fernandes, confirmed that the toilet is strictly only for his team. "Everyone wants to use our toilet, but when the time comes to keep it hygienic, everyone backs out," he said.
He said that when the toilet was left unlocked, residents from the nearby chawl, autorickshaw drivers and others made a beeline to use the toilet in the morning hours. He further added that every single one of the 175 cops in his team contributes money to keep the toilet hygienic.
There are 150 cops at the Bangur Nagar police station. Fortunately, the women have a separate restroom, and do not have to suffer such indignities. Neither do the senior officers, who have ensuite toilets in their cabins. It is only the junior cops who have to struggle. But, senior officers have allegedly not shown any interest to set up a proper toilet for their subordinates. "Detection officers and the senior inspector have their own personal toilets at the police station. In case of emergency, we hesitatingly have to request to use their loo," said a constable. They suffered similar indignities ever since they moved there in 2008, into what was supposed to be a temporary arrangement.
On the to-doo-doo list
A new loo may finally be in the pipeline for the poor policemen. Mane, Bangur Nagar's senior PI, told mid-day, "The Malad Police are the custodians of the toilet you are referring to. Our common toilet is in deplorable condition but its renovation is underway." "After assuming charge, I have expedited the process to shift our police station near Infinity Mall," he added.
Sangramsinh Nishandar, the zonal DCP, said, "Nobody reported this issue to me or the senior PI of either police station. A couple of days ago, I visited both toilets and the Bangur Nagar toilet was choked. A new pipeline needs to be laid, which will be done on Wednesday."
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