Mumbai’s Police Commissioner D Sivanandhan has been giving lectures on strengthening security but his officers are doing something that could not only be dangerous but is also illegal.
The LT Marg police, on Wednesday, openly paraded two bag snatchers and robbers on the crowded streets of Zaveri Bazaar and Cotton Exchange. More than 100 jewellery stores are located in the area.
The accused were paraded with slates suspended from their neck and their hands tied with ropes.
The slates displayed their names, the charges and the crime registration number.
The accused have been identified as Mahender Burju, Juman Azim Sheikh and Ganesh Jagtap. Burju was arrested for robbery while the other two were caught for bag snatching. Police said the accused were arrested on Wednesday in connection with cases of bag snatching and robbery during the past week.
Eyewitnesses said the parade began around 2.45 pm and went on for half an hour.
“The aim of this initiative is to bring the offenders before the public and help them identify whether these accused were involved in any other offences,” said an officer from the LT Marg police station requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
There was total confusion in the area as people did not know what was going on.
Pankaj Bafna, who owns Padmavati Jewellers located in the area, said, “A huge crowd gathered to watch what was going on. Any untoward incident could have taken place.”
A local resident requesting anonymity said, “It was a very amusing sight. I could not figure out what was happening.”
A lawyer, Bafna said the police’s actions were “illegal”. “The police do not have a right to parade the accused in such a manner in public. Such an act does not solve any purpose. It instead creates panic among people,” said Bafna.
The idea was the brainchild of the Senior Inspector of Police A. P. Borude. “There is some problem in the network. I will get back to you,” said Borude when contacted.
R. K. Padmanabhan, Additional commissioner of police, South Region said, “The accused were taken for spot identification.”
When asked why the accused had been tied with ropes he said he had directed the deputy commissioner of police to inquire into the matter. “He will submit a report in a couple of days.”