The five Mumbai cops who allegedly partied with gangsters at a Chembur club on Christmas eve could face suspension.
Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Sivanandhan wrote to Home Minister R.R. Patil on Saturday, seeking his approval to suspend the officers, including Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch-I) V.N. Salve and Assistant Commissioner of Police Prakash Wani. The other three facing the rap are inspector Khalatakar and assistant police inspectors Chandar and Tulsi Khakad.
The party, video footage of which appeared in the media, was allegedly hosted by Chhota Rajan gangster D.K. Rao to celebrate his release from jail and included other Rajan hitmen — Farid Tanasha and Sunil Poddar.
Sources said Patil on Saturday directed the home department to back Sivanandhan.
“The home minister has asked the department to go through the legal provisions and grant permission to Sivanandhan [to take action]. The officers face suspension pending an inquiry and if found guilty, will be terminated from service,” sources from the home minister’s office said. The approval is likely to be issued late Saturday or Sunday.
Sources said there was a need to check legal provisions as suspension of some officers accused of underworld links had earlier been revoked by the state administrative tribunal.
Patil had asked Sivanandhan to probe the matter soon as videos from the party emerged. A senior police officer said on condition of anonymity: “There is much more evidence than what has come out in the media. Statements of other people at the party would also be recorded to substantiate the charges.”
While DCP Salve denied he was present at the party, Wani said, “I cannot comment on the matter of suspension. All I can say is that the media has blown the issue out of proportion. I will reply to my superiors and tell them exactly what happened when they call me to record my statement.”
The other three police officers could not be contacted.