Four days ago, on his surprise visit to the prestigious Police Club at Azad Maidan, Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik found a piece of cheap cloth hanging from the bathroom of the executive suite.
Considering that the place can be occupied only by officers of and above the rank of deputy inspector general of police (DIG), the discovery came as a shocker.
When questioned, the caretakers of the club — head constable BV Salgaonkar and constable P Sawant — failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for the faux pas. Suspecting that the rooms at the club are being clandestinely given out on rent to civilians on a per-hour basis, the policemen have been suspended and a probe has been ordered.
Vasant Dhoble, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), enforcement, who is in-charge of the inquiry, said: “The records available at the reception counter show some administrative flaws. We will submit a report on the findings to the police commissioner after which a detailed inquiry will be conducted.”
According to sources, the functioning of the club is handled by the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) office, headquarter (HQ) no. 1. Salgaonkar has been posted as a caretaker at the club for over six years in a row and is assisted by Sawant and a police naik.
There are 11 rooms at the club including the executive suite. The club offers first-class accommodation at a minimal cost of Rs125 per person per day for the non-A/C rooms and Rs150 per person per day for the A/C rooms. A written recommendation from the DCP HQ No. 1 is mandatory to avail of the facility.
According to sources, the entries in the register suggested that rooms were given on rent to visitors even in the absence of recommendation. The inquiry is focusing on those entries.