Mumbai police caught napping as Special Branch letter surfaces

Shrinivas Deshpande
13 Apr 2022
Mumbai police caught napping as Special Branch letter surfaces

Mumbai (Maharashtra): Several questions are being raised after a letter from the Special Branch alerted the Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) about the possibility of protests at the NCP Chief Sharad Pawar's Silver Oak residence has surfaced.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis held the police responsible for their lapse resulting in an attack on Sharad Pawar's house. 

In his letter, dated April 4, to Vishwas Nangre Patil JCP (Law and Order), Additional Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) indicated that State Transport workers could stage a protest outside Silver Oak, CM Uddhav Thackeray's official residence at Varsha and Matoshree and also at transport minister Anil Parab's residence on April 8.

The special branch had urged Joint Commissioner Nagare -Patil to deploy additional force not only at the residences of political leaders but also at the city's entry points. The letter explained that many protesters are likely to travel by train/road to join the protest to be held in South Mumbai.

 "This is necessary as protestors are firm on their demands for the MSRTC's merger with the state government and may resort to agitation," the letter by the Special Branch stated. The letter said that if such things happen then it will lead to a law and order issue.

The Special Branch had sent an alert about a protest by MSRTC employees to the Gamdevi Police Inspector R Rajbhar. However, Rajbhar failed to take necessary action. Following this, Mumbai police suspended him. Further action will be taken after a detailed inquiry, Police said.

In its official statement, Mumbai police told that they have started an inquiry into whether there was any dereliction of duty by police authority that led to the incident.

Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil confirmed that the intelligence department had sent a letter on April 4 to inform about it (the agitation). "Despite that, there was this lapse," Walse Patil said.

''There were not enough security arrangements (at Pawar's residence) as was required and a probe has been ordered into it, he said.

"The DCP concerned has been transferred and a (senior) police inspector of Gamdevi police station has been suspended," the minister added.

Here is a copy of the letter:

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Employees of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) which has almost 1 lakh employees are on strike since November 2021. The angry mob of 100-150 protesters attacked Pawar's house on April 8, accusing Pawar, for not doing anything to help them.

As of now, Mumbai police has arrested over 100 people including the lawyer of MSRTC worker Gunratna Sadavarte.

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