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Mumbai: Two, posing as clean-up marshals, caught extorting in Nalasopara

Updated on: 03 February,2024 05:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma |

Development comes days after mid-day had exposed how these thugs have gone rogue and turned extortionists as part of programme that is coming to Mumbai soon

Mumbai: Two, posing as clean-up marshals, caught extorting in Nalasopara

Mohit Chaturvedi (right) Pawan Dubey. Pics/Hanif Patel

The Tulinj police have arrested two men for posing as municipal clean-up marshals and attempting to rob a daily wager in Nalasopara East. The complainant, Dharmendra Yadav, 28, said the accused Pawan Dubey and Mohit Chaturvedi stopped him on Wednesday afternoon and demanded to know why he had spat on the road. Despite Yadav insisting he never spat, they allegedly demanded Rs 1,000. “They grabbed my jhola and searched my belongings, saying they will drag me to the police station if I did not pay up,” Yadav said in his police complaint.

Two Tulinj policemen who were passing by stopped and enquired what the ruckus was about. The accused told them they were Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) clean-up marshals, though they were not in uniform and did not have IDs. The officers took the two to the police station, where enquiries revealed that they used to work as marshals but were no longer employed by the current contractor.

Terrorised citizens

“We have booked them under Sections 393 (attempt to commit robbery), 170 (personating a public servant), 171 (wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code,” said Shailendra Nagarkar, senior inspector, Tulinj police. Investigating Officer, API Zamir Shaikh, said the Vasai court has granted custody of the two till Saturday. On January 13, mid-day had reported about how the marshals have been terrorising Vasai citizens.

A senior Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar (MBVV) police officer told mid-day that the marshals, in connivance with some cops, have been brazenly harassing people. “These marshals have no fear as they have been giving cuts to a handful of policemen after extorting from citizens,” said the officer. “The VVCMC Commissioner must terminate the contracts of clean-up marshals.”

Assistant Municipal Commissioner (Health Department), Sukhdeo Darveshi admitted that even the civic body has been receiving complaints from victims. “I recently called a meeting of all marshals and told them not to indulge in any fraudulent or illegal activities,” said Darveshi. “They were appointed to keep an eye on trucks from Mumbai and Thane dumping debris on open land off the Ahmedabad highway as we faced flooding due to the dumping. Another task is to encourage walkers to clean after their pets. But we are getting complaints that the marshals go to industrial estates and harass small businesses. That is not part of their job.”

Action soon

Asked what action was taken following mid-day’s exposé, Darveshi said, “We are now short-staffed now and preoccupied with the Maratha survey. Next week, we will send a letter to the police with details from the mid-day report for necessary action.”

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