A wheelchair-bound cricket fan, with a special entry pass for the India-Australia game at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, was turned away from the gate by policemen who said they had not been instructed to let him in.
reported on Tuesday how hard Vilki Member, a 45-year-old trader from Charni Road, had tried to get hold of a pass for the match. He had eventually been given a letter signed by Ravi Savant, vice-president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), and been told that all he needed to do was turn up with it at the Polly Umrigar gate on Wednesday. "MCA will make arrangements to take the handicapped person inside the stadium on the day of the match," the letter said.
When Member arrived at the gate, the police asked him to go to the Vinoo Mankad gate, 50 yards away. Once he had wheeled himself there, the police turned him away, saying they had received no orders to let him in.
"Is this the way we treat disabled people in India?" asked Member, who watched Murali Karthik's heroics on TV when he would rather have watched them at the ground. Social Welfare Minister Chandrakant Handore said: "It's an unfortunate incident. We'll order an inquiry to see who is at fault."
Yogesh Bajpai, additional commissioner of police, said: "When Member has not approached me, why are you complaining?" Wasn't it enough that Member had a letter from the MCA vice-president? "If that was the case, the person who issued the letter should have informed the police officers on duty," Bajpai said.
When asked about the incident, Savant — who had issued the letter on October 15 — said: "I am not aware of it. The problem must have been created by the police."
With inputs from Amol Karhadkar