Armed with the resolve to bring back assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Vasant Dhoble to Vakola, a citizens’ delegation from the western suburbs met home minister RR Patil on Tuesday.
They submitted a five-point agenda to Patil, demanding that Dhoble be reinstated and prompt action to frame a city-specific hawking policy.
“We demand that no police official, who is doing his job as per law, should be transferred under such circumstances. Moreover, after the inquiry is completed, it is vital for the official to be brought back to his post with dignity,” said Aftab Siddiqui, chairperson, Khar’s 33rd Road Advanced Locality Management, who was a part of the delegation. “Our protest is not restricted to the reinstatement of ACP Dhoble alone. We want action to be taken even in case of other officials who have been penalised for doing their job well,” added Siddiqui.
The seven-member delegation, representing residents of western suburbs also demanded that the hawking policy, which has been gathering dust since 2010, be cleared at the earliest to regulate the menace.
Members of this group, along with other citizen groups spread across the western suburbs including Bandra, Khar, Santacruz, Kalina, Juhu and Vile Parle, are continuing their signature drive to protest against Dhoble’s transfer.
“So far, we have managed to collect signatures from more than 3,000 families, which will add up to almost 10,000 signatures in all. We have condemned the high-handedness on part of politicians in transferring an honest cop,” said Anil Joseph from the Perry Cross Road ALM. “We need to ensure that the police force can function without political pressure,” he added.
Kalina resident Cynthia Fernandes said that Dhoble’s hasty transfer had affected the morale of the police force and the citizens. “Just like Anna Hazare became the face of anti-corruption in the country, with lakhs of people relating to his ideologies, Dhoble represents that section of officials, who have had to pay the price for doing their duty on account of political influence,” said Fernandes.