September 17, 2012 4:23:15 am
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vasant Dhoble,known for his late-night raids on bars and restaurants in Mumbai,has been transferred from the Social Service Branch and moved to the city suburbs as ACP,Vakola division.
Dhoble,who could conduct raids in any part of the city will now have to restrict himself to the jurisdiction of two police stationsVakola and Vile Parlealong the Western Express Highway.
An order for his transfer was issued on Saturday night by the Maharashtra Home department, said an officer. Dhoble’s seniors refused to comment on the transfer terming it a decision of the state government.
Armed with a hockey stick and camera,Dhoble would often burst into pubs and restaurants which stayed open beyond permissible time limit,shocking patrons and employees.
The drive had evoked mixed reactionsranging from outrage to wholesome supportfrom Mumbaikars. While residents in the vicinity of bars had welcomed the raids,there were many who felt the action was killing the character of a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai.
Referring to the crackdown,former DGP K Subramanyam had said police must use common sense and not hide behind archaic laws to justify the raids. Recently,addressing a tourism event,Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan too had assured the hospitality industry that the city would get its night life back.
Soon after taking over as Mumbai Police Commissioner,Satyapal Singh had ordered Dhoble to report to the Crime Branch instead of the commissioner directly. Dhoble was also dragged to the Bombay High Court by two women detained by a police team led by him at a restaurant on charges of prostitution.
The women claimed that they were educated and had a good background and sought compensation of Rs 1 crore each from the police for defaming them.
The Bombay High Court had,however,not passed any directions against police,saying Dhoble was only doing his job.
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