The president of the short-lived police union in Mumbai in the 1980s has dismissed the ongoing signature campaign pressing for the establishment of a union to represent lower-rung police personnel.
He said the only way forward was by following the law and by marching to the state government’s headquarters on January 1, 2017.’
“I have written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding permission to form a police union. I have given him 90 days to grant permission. If he does not do so, we will march to Mantralaya and to Varsha (the CM’s residence) if necessary. A lot of organisations have agreed to be part of this protest. At least, two family members of police personnel from across Maharashtra will join the march. It will be a protest that the state government has not witnessed before,” said Bablu Jadhav, a retired assistant sub-inspector in the Thane police.
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Though long retired, Jadhav has pressed ahead with his demand for a police union ever since the very first union was disbanded in 1982, after its members went on a riot. After the recent spurt in cases of assault on police personnel in Mumbai and Thane, calls have grown for the union to be revived. However, after traffic constable Vilas Shinde was killed in an attack on duty by two men in Khar, a signature campaign demanding the formation of a union has been launched by Nitesh Rane’s Swabhiman Sanghatana. It claims to have gathered signatures of over two lakh serving police personnel and their families so far.
“That is not the way ahead. A legal process has to be followed. The state government can establish the union once more it if wants to but is under pressure from the IPS lobby. The government has to show whether it is for the IPS or the law,” Jadhav said.