Why some Mumbai politicians have to worry about Dhoble’s raids

Thackeray’s grandson to Sena leader Kadam’s wife,politicians have stake in bars.

Written by Sagnik Chowdhury | Mumbai | Published:June 23, 2012 9:40 pm

Mumbai Police records show that many bars and restaurants raided by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble and Social Service Branch (SSB) officers have links with politicians from the Shiv Sena,the BJP and the Congress.

The permit holders of several of these establishments raided are relatives of leaders from these parties,according to police files. Significantly though,politicians from Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)—which controls the Home portfolio in the state—have not found their way into the records pertaining to the raids.

Among those whose relatives find a mention in the records as permit holders include Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s daughter-in-law amd Sena leader Ramdas Kadam’s wife. Among those who were booked in the SSB raids are Congress leader and state health minister Suresh Shetty’s son and BJP MLA Prakash Mehta’s son.

While Dhoble’s constant raids on bars,pubs,hookah parlours and eateries in the city have met with outrage from some quarters,he enjoys the patronage of his superiors and state Home Minister RR Patil. Mumbai Police Chief Arup Patnaik,too,endorsed the ACP’s actions,claiming that Dhoble is an officer who “could not be bought over by bars and politicians.”

Consider these:

n On August 17,2011,the SSB raided Sangeet Bar in Santacruz and arrested 12 bar dancers and five employees. The bar is owned by Bal Thackeray’s grandson Nihar,with the permit holder on police records being his mother Madhavi Binda Thackeray.

n On March 9,2011,the Santacruz police had raided the same bar. Nine women were rescued from an alleged prostitution racket,and three employees arrested. Nihar Thackeray was booked in the case.

n On December 27,2011,the SSB raided Savli Bar and Restaurant in Kandivali (East). The police arrested two persons,and rescued nine girls allegedly involved in a prostitution racket. The permit holder for the bar is Sena leader Ramdas Kadam’s wife Jyoti.

n On August 7,2011,the SSB raided five-star hotel Imperal Palace in Goregaon (East) and arrested 23 people for gambling. Among those arrested was Abhisekh Mehta,the son of BJP MLA from Ghatkopar (East) Prakash Mehta. The police seized Rs 5.42 lakh in cash and five bottles of liquor from the seventh-floor suite raided.

n On April 2 this year,the SSB raided Zaza restaurant in Bandra Reclamation and found a hookah bar operating there. Among 21 customers rounded up and fined was state Health Minister Suresh Shetty’s son Kshitij.

n On April 12 this year,the SSB raided Hotel Utsav in the Kasturba Marg area. According to the police’s records,ex-Congress corporator Vidyarthi Singh was booked in the raid for obscenity.

Following the furore over the continued tough action against pubs,bars and their guests by the SSB,police chief Patnaik has stated that some politicians were upset because some of the bars raided were linked to them. Earlier this month,Minister of State for Home Satej Patil from the Congress had said that there was a need to revise the “archaic” laws used by the police during such raids. He had even spoken to top Mumbai Police officers about complaints he had received about Dhoble’s actions.

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