Unhappy with former Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor’s clarification over his statements against four senior police officers in an interview to a news magazine, the state government has decided to ask him for further explanation.
Gafoor, who was heading the city police force during the 26/11 terror attacks, had told news magazine The Week that officers had shirked their duty during the 26/11 attacks.
The government had asked him to explain his statements by December 3. Home Minister RR Patil had directed Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar to look into Gafoor’s explanation.
A senior official requesting anonymity because the issue is controversial said: “The government is unhappy with his [Gafoor’s] reply and will seek more clarifications from him."
Gafoor has said that he was quoted on what he spoke informally with the magazine. He has also asked the government to take action against the four officers involved after considering the facts. “Once he makes his stand clearer, the Home Minister will decide on whether and what action needs to be taken against the officer,” the official said.
The government’s response to Gafoor’s letter is not surprising. Patil had issued a gag order preventing police officials from speaking to the media over contentious issues. This was followed by the home department saying it was thinking of formulating rules for police officers communicating with the media.
Hindustan Times had recently reported that the government has planned to introduce stringent norms to ensure that police officials function within the legal framework.
The Police Officers (Restriction of Rights) Act 1966 states: “No member of police force, without the express sanction of the Central government or of the prescribed authority, can communicate with the press on what is in the bona fide discharge of his duty.”