Govt removes cops from Gateway of India
Embarrassed after the criticism from various quarters, the Maharashtra government on Thursday evening shifted a platoon of police - entrusted with guarding the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Tower - from the Gateway of India where they were living since nearly two months.india Updated: Nov 20, 2009 16:05 IST
Embarrassed after the criticism from various quarters, the Maharashtra government on Thursday evening shifted a platoon of police - entrusted with guarding the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Tower - from the Gateway of India where they were living since nearly two months.
The platoon, which comprised 30 State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) troopers, was compelled to live on the pavements in and around the Gateway of India in the absence of any proper lodging-boarding arrangements made for them by the authorities.
"Around 7 p.m., some police vans came and picked them up with all their belongings and luggage. They have been taken to an undisclosed location nearby," a police official told IANS Thursday evening.
The jawans were guarding the country's best-known hotel that was one of the main targets in last year's terror attack. The men lived, ate and slept there, read newspapers, washed and hung their clothes there - right opposite the hotel.
The hotel is, meanwhile, busy with preparations to open a few portions of its heritage building, which was, damaged in last year's terror attacks.
The troopers had just one police van in which they managed to change and move around in the city.
Last week's unseasonal rains forced the troopers to put up plastic sheets to shield themselves from the rainwater.
Ironically, the Gateway of India recently completed a restoration and beautification work of Rs.20 million and is due to be opened to tourists soon.
Meanwhile, top police brass, including State Director-General of Police A.N. Roy, Additional DGP (SRPF) Ajit Parasnis and Home Minister RR Patil remained unavailable for their comments despite repeated attempts by IANS. Even SMSs to all remained ignored.