Vasant Dhoble creates rift between Sena, BJP

Jan 15, 2013, 06:54 IST | Varun Singh

Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble's transfer prompted massive debates in political circles, and even created a rift between the saffron parties

The Shiv Sena and BJP may be an alliance at the Centre and even in the state, but the two parties stand divided over an issue relevant to Mumbai Vasant Dhoble’s transfer. The city’s BJP chief Raj Purohit had been campaigning since Saturday for Dhoble’s transfer and even expressed joy when the assistant commissioner of police was transferred to controls.

ACP Vasant Dhoble

The Shiv Sena on the other hand would like to see Dhoble back at his post in Vakola and his transfer cancelled. Sena in its mouthpiece Saamna criticised Dhoble’s transfer and claimed that just because Congress leaders like Kripa Shankar Singh and others raised a hue and cry over the death of hawker Madan Jaiswal, Commissioner of Police Dr Satypal Singh transferred Dhoble.

ACP Vasant Dhoble’s raid on illegal hawkers at Santacruz, which allegedly led to one hawker dying of a heart attack, prompted other hawkers to hold a candle light protest in the area last week

The incident that started the ball rolling happened on Friday night in Santacruz (East) when Jaiswal allegedly collapsed, while the ACP was carrying out a raid against illegal hawkers. Since then, politicians and political parties have jumped into the fray. “There’s a demand in the process for a CID inquiry to ascertain the exact reason and cause behind Jaiswal’s death. Also, when there are questions being raised against an officer, he needs to be transferred so that he can’t influence the locals and others,” Purohit said.

Countering this claim, the Saamna editorial said, “When the chief minister can order an inquiry in the irrigation scam while Ajit Pawar continues to be the deputy chief minister and it has been presumed that his presence will not impact the enquiry, then why should Dhoble be transferred?”

The editorial also questions why Dhoble is being targeted when it is clear that the hawker died due to a brain haemorrhage. According to the editorial, if anyone is to be held accountable for the hawker’s death, it is the municipal commissioner because ensuring that such individuals stay off the roads is the municipal corporation’s primary task and the police only assist.

Purohit added that if Dhoble is such a good officer, why then is he not being made the Home Minister. He however refused to comment on the Sena’s stand in this regard. Sanjay Raut, executive editor, Saamna, and also a Shiv Sena MP in the Rajya Sabha said, “We are not bothered about what others have to say. Our stand is the same as what the public is saying, and public wants Dhoble back.”

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