Recent pictures of a few policemen partying with underworld hitmen has again exposed the nexus between criminals and the lawkeepers designated to fight them.
This nexus is not new — there are several past instances of police officials seen socialising with the underworld.
While some of these officials have faced punishment, others managed to brush off allegations of their allegiance with one gang or the other.
Mumbai police veterans, who were once known for their relentless drives against the city’s gangsters say any policeman found to be close to the underworld must face harsh punishment.
“In 1985, my statement about the underworld-police nexus caused much controversy and the Central Bureau of Investigation had recorded my statement but I did not have proof,” former joint commissioner of police Y.C. Pawar said, adding he did not subscribe to the view that police officials need to develop close relations with the underworld to extract information from them.
He said that whenever an officer is assigned to a case, proper procedure must be followed.
A former encounter specialist, refusing to be named, echoed the view. “These gangsters are themselves on the run from the police and are not capable of providing information on rival gangs. When they do learn anything, they inform the police voluntary, so police officials don’t need to develop any relations with them.”
There have been several past cases when policemen were penalised for their proximity to the underworld. Two such examples were encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma and Aslam Momin, both dismissed from service after evidence emerged that they were in close contact with gangsters.
Former director general of police, O P Bali, came out in full support of the government’s action against the five policemen who allegedly partied with members of the underworld.
“It may have been a ploy to infiltrate the underworld but then such things are done in secrecy. It is not done this way, completely unabashedly and in full view of the public,” Bali said, adding that the action of the five policemen was highly objectionable.