Failing to respond to an application by an activist seeking police protection may prove troublesome for the police.
The Bombay High Court, on Thursday, rapped the police for sitting on an application made by Mohammad Anwar Shaikh (38), since August 30, seeking protection fearing a threat to his life and asked them to give their reply by Friday.
“If anything happens to him (activist) in the meantime, then all the police officers concerned will be held personally responsible,” said Justice AM Khanvilkar.
Hindustan Times first reported how Anwar Shaikh had received death threats because of his campaign to get a cemetery for his locality in Tagore Nagar, Vikhroli (E).
As the police failed to respond to his request, he approached the high court last week.
Additional public prosecutor, Dr F.R. Shaikh, informed the court that Shaikh’s application was pending with the protection department of the police.
When the division bench of Justice Khanvilkar and Justice PD Kode asked how long it would take to process the request, public prosecutor Shaikh said it would take some time.
“It (application) has to be scrutinised by the senior police inspector, then the assistance commissioner of police, then the deputy commissioner of police and then finally the commissioner of police decides whether protection is required to be given or not,” said public prosecutor Shaikh.
Following a spate of attacks on activists in the state, the high court had taken suo moto cognisance (on its own) and asked the police to provide protection to the activists at the earliest.
Anwar Shaikh, a resident of Tagore Nagar in Vikhroli (E), has been locked in a battle with the civic body and the Suburban Collector’s office for the last two years, for rightful development of a plot in the locality as a cemetery because it has been reserved for this purpose in the Development Plan.