A 32-year-old police constable, posted at Mumbai’s traffic division, has been booked by Thane police for extorting a 41-year-old man and his friend and threatening them with arrest while on official leave. The Mumbai Police has also suspended the constable and listed him as an absconder after the complaint was filed.
Prasad Dattaram Mahadik, a constable with Sakinaka traffic division, was on a 14-day leave from June 22 after one of his neighbours tested positive for Covid-19, and Bhandup, where he resides, was earmarked as a containment zone, police said. On July 4, Mahadik, while still on leave, stepped out of the quarantine zone wearing his uniform along with his friend Amol Ashok Devalekar, whom the former had lent a set of his uniform, police added.
The two men, police said, accosted the complainant, Raju Parte (41), a resident of Louis wadi in Thane, when and his friend Vijay Raghunath More were returning home from a wine shop at Mankoli Naka with liquor bottles.
In his complaint, Parte said, “Around 3 pm, the constable, who was on a bike, and another in a car overtook my vehicle and stopped me.”
The two men, the complainant added, claimed to be from the crime branch and told them to pay up Rs 5,000 for possession of liquor. They also confiscated his liquor bottles.
The complainant said on reaching home he realised that the two constables were wearing sandals and so he went back to the wine shop and checked the CCTV footage where he spotted Devalekar. Sensing that he may have been duped, Parte went to Kalwa police station and registered a case, police said.
Senior police inspector VG Darekar of Kalwa police station said, “We have arrested Devalekar, while Mahadik has applied for anticipatory bail.” After the case was filed, Mumbai Police suspended Mahadik from service. He is presently listed as an absconder, police added.
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