Alleging harassment and torture by crime branch, a self-styled journalist allegedly attempted to commit suicide outside home minister RR Patil’s cabin at the Mantralaya on Monday, the police said.
Vinod Sonkamble, 37, went to Patil’s office at 3.45pm to air his grievances against the crime branch officials, the Marine Drive police said.
On learning that the minister was not in his chamber, Sonkamble spoke to some staff members present there. He then came out and consumed some tablets, which he claimed were sleeping pills. “Sonkamble was taken to GT Hospital. He is now stable,” said Avinash Shingte, inspector.
An officer, on condition of anonymity, said Sonkamble’s urine sample had been sent for examination. “In case traces of sedative are found, he would be booked for attempting to commit suicide.”
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime, told Hindustan Times that an inquiry had been ordered into the allegations made by Sonkamble.
“I have called for all relevant papers pertaining to Sonkamble’s summoning and questioning by the Unit 7 of crime branch. We will record the statements of the officer concerned and Sonkamble,” Roy said.
Sources in the crime branch revealed that Sonkamble, a Ghatkopar (East) resident, had been summoned on October 11 for questioning after an informer had told them that his (Sonkamble’s) photograph matched with a sketch prepared by the Nagpada police of a wanted accused. The sketch was of a man who had duped several persons by masquerading as a policeman.
In his statement, Sonkamble revealed that he was not a journalist, but pretended to be one. He, however, denied posing as a policeman.
In 2009, Sonkamble had once been summoned for questioning by the Ghatkopar police station in connection with a similar case. At that time, he had helped identify the fake cops, one Ghulam and Ejaz, who were his friends. The duo was subsequently arrested.