Six GRP personnel suspended for robbing passengers
The incident, which occurred on April 3, has raised serious concerns about the GRP’s functioning and integrity, as its personnel have come under increased scrutiny from citizens for misbehaviour and anti-social behaviour
SLUG: Incident at Pune rly station
Six policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector of the Government Railway Police (GRP), have been suspended for robbing passengers at the Pune Railway Station under the guise of luggage checking and inspection.
The incident, which occurred on April 3, has raised serious concerns about the GRP’s functioning and integrity, as its personnel have come under increased scrutiny from citizens for misbehaviour and anti-social behaviour in the past.
Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Balu Patole, Police Constable Sunil Vatkar, Prashant Doifode, Jayant Randive, Amol Sonwane, and Vishal Gosavi of the railway police have been identified as the six suspended officers.
Following sabotage and suspicious activity at the Pune railway station, these suspended cops were tasked with verifying the documents of passengers.
On the afternoon of April 3, they apprehended a young man and his girlfriend.
He was interrogated because he was suspected of having ganja in his bag. They were both brought before the senior inspector of the Lohmarg police station. He was later released that evening.
Meanwhile, the GRP Police Director General’s (DG) office in Mumbai informed GRP Police Superintendent (SP) Rajesh Bansode that GRP police allegedly stole ₹5 lakh from the bag of the detained person and his co-passenger.
Bansode directed Police Inspector (PI) Irfan Shaikh to conduct an immediate investigation and submit a report. As a result, the CCTV footage from the railway platform was examined. Following an investigation, SP Bansode charged these six employees with irresponsible behaviour and ordered their suspension. Due to errors in checking passengers’ documents, one of the suspended employees was charged with forcible theft. However, it has been revealed that he has been reassigned to the railway station.
While the media began to inquire about the case, the railway police provided explanations ranging from some senior officers being on leave to other factors. Another reason given was that the senior police officers were away on training.
When the GRP police were quizzed about who their senior officers were and what the names of the suspended employees were, they gave vague answers.
Seven police officers, including the then-senior inspector, were suspended in June 2021 for alleged misconduct in a drug case. According to civil rights activists, the incident revealed that robbing passengers was being carried out on a regular basis by a section of corrupt police officers.