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Tone down raids, govt tells police chief

mumbai Updated: Jun 14, 2012 02:17 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Hindustan Times
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The home department is not pleased with Vasant Dhoble, the 54-year-old assistant commissioner of police who has made headlines for organising raids at nightspots, lounges and restaurants across the city for flouting rules.

Satej Patil, minister of state for home, on Wednesday called up city police commissioner Arup Patnaik and asked him to keep a check on Dhoble. Patnaik is reported to have hand-picked Dhoble for the job. The ACP has been using outdated, ambiguous rules and regulations to conduct searches and raids.

"Law enforcement should be done, but this kind of moral policing is not acceptable. If there are rave parties, action should be taken. Action should not be on the basis of a cop's whims and fancies," Patil said to Hindustan Times. "I have told the Mumbai police commissioner to take appropriate action to tone down the raids."

Such "over-the-top policing" is not good for the city's culture, he said. "It is spoiling Mumbai's cosmopolitan culture as people have started feeling afraid of going to restaurants and bars. It will kill the city's vibrancy."

Dhoble has been in the limelight ever since he started conducting raids of popular nightspots in the city. After the raids on Masala Curry, Café Zoe and Shiro over the past few days, the ACP has become the top trending topic on Twitter.

Patil said he is being hounded by phone calls from friends and relatives, thanks to the police checks.

"I have received calls from many, inclduding my sister, all of who tell me that they feel scared to go out for dinner or a party because of these raids," he said.

"We need to understand that if someone invites me to a party, I will not have control over what happens there."

Home minister RR Patil has not spoken on the issue so far.