Backing the unpopular raids on the citys night spots by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble to the hilt,Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik on Wednesday said that he fully endorsed his actions,and that an aggressive crackdown would continue in the city.
Patnaik also said that he was there to serve the majority of Mumbaikars rather than a mere thousand-odd party-goers who frequent expensive pubs and bars in the city. Patnaik also vouched for the impeccable integrity of his officer,and said that Dhoble had fallen into trouble with bribery and murder charges in the past only because he was not pliable and was the sort who could not be bought over by bars and politicians.
He has been targeted unnecessarily,and as the Mumbai Police Commissioner I back my officer fully. I can personally vouch for Dhobles impeccable integrity. He has my full support in the raids that are being conducted,as it is my mandate to enforce laws. It is not my job to decide which law is an archaic law and which is not. I have instructed him to continue with an aggressive stance against the irregularities,but not to step outside the law. Mistakes may happen,but they should not be mala fide, Patnaik told The Indian Express. If he (Dhoble) steps outside the law,he will have to face the consequences. He will have to face criminal action, he added.
Even some politicians are upset because some of the bars raided have links to them. If Dhoble was that sort of an officer,he would have been offered crores of rupees in bribes. But even bar and pub owners are wary of him and know that he cannot be bought by them, Patnaik said.
When asked how he could vouch for an officer who had once been arrested in a bribery case by the Anti Corruption Bureau,and who had faced murder charges in two cases,the Police Commissioner said,Some of the most corrupt officers have the cleanest of records. Dhoble has fallen into trouble with cases because he is daring and fearless. He is not an amenable or pliable officer,and in the past other officers have ganged up against him to land him in trouble.
Dhoble has been criticised for using archaic laws such as those pertaining to overcrowding to raid and penalise establishments. On Wednesday,in a show of support to such raids,a letter addressed to the Police Commissioner by a Nariman Point resident was printed on Patnaiks orders in the Special Police Notice that is circulated daily across the police force. The letter recounts an incident in London in which an Indian diplomat allegedly refused to sit with the author and three others seated around a table at TGI Friday in London,as the waiter and manager informed them that there were strict laws on the number of chairs allowed per table.
Commenting on the outrage voiced by netizens,prominent city personalities and youth for Dhobles ‘moral policing,Patnaik said,The majority of the people in Mumbai are happy that a tough cop is cracking down on these spots,as they cause a nuisance. Mothers are happy that underage girls cannot visit such places. All sorts of illegal activities are carried out there. Out of around 1.5 crore people,how many people can actually even afford to enter such places and have a drink… maybe a thousand-odd. I am not here to serve them,but the rest of Mumbai.
It has become fashionable for people to gang up and criticise Dhoble on the Internet,as it would not look cool to approve of the raids. When Dhoble was wielding his hockey-stick and cracking down on gambling,liquor and prostitution dens in areas like Kamathipura,these people were happy. But now that he is also raiding five-star hotels,this hip-hop set finds it shocking that this pandu (constable) can enter such places and take action against them. It is an affront to them, Patnaik added.
Rather than venting their anger at Dhoble,why dont these critics sue the owners of the bars and pubs that are raided. The guests are paying a hefty fee to enter these places,and because the management does not have the necessary licences,raids are conducted. These guests are then videographed for evidence. Dont the guests expect more from these establishments? asked Patnaik.