Even as the five policemen allegedly caught on camera at a Christmas eve party hosted by members of the Chhota Rajan gang were suspended, sources said another senior cop is under the scanner.
The suspended officers are Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch-I) V.N. Salve, Assistant Commissioner of Police Prakash Wani, Senior Inspector R.S. Kankale, Inspector Sunil Kolatkar and a constable. Details of the policeman under probe are not known.
Wani, when contacted, denied receiving any suspension order yet and said he is still to present his case in the enquiry. “There has been a media trial against me,” he said.
The party in Chembur was allegedly organised to celebrate the release of some members of the Chhota Rajan gang, including D.K. Rao, Farid Tanasha and Sunil Poddar, from prison
The decision to suspend the five policemen – taken by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Home Minister R.R. Patil – came a day after Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Sivanandan recommended it.
The Home Ministry has ordered an inquiry into the issue. Chavan, in Pune, confirmed the suspension and the departmental inquiry on Sunday.
The nexus between criminals and the lawkeepers is not new — there are several past instances of police officials seen socialising with the underworld.
“In 1985, my statement about the underworld-police nexus had caused much controversy and the CBI had recorded my statement but I did not have proof,” former joint commissioner of police Y. C. Pawar said, adding that he did not subscribe to the view that police officials need to develop close relations with the underworld in order to extract information from them.