Code of misconduct? Palghar cops send preventive notices to writer, activist
In a major embarrassment, the Palghar police issued preventive notices to an eminent writer, poet and social activist – none, mostly senior citizens, of whom have been booked for any crime – ahead of polls only to withdraw them later.
“Under section 149 of the Criminal Code Procedure (CrPC), which entitles local police to prevent cognisable offences ahead of polls, we have sent notices to 650 people,” said Vijaykant Sagar, additional superintendent of police (ASP),Vasai.
Among those who received notices were Simon Martin, 55, a poet from Vasai, who used to edit a monthly magazine for Christians; Marcus Dabre, 78, a writer of social issues, and founder of an environment-based NGO; Janata Dal leader Dominic Gonsalves, social activist Dominica Dabre, among others.
Martin said, “I was shocked to receive the notice from PI Bhaskar Pukhle of Vasai gaon police station. I don’t have any criminal record. The state gave me the best poet award in 2011. I have written 10 books on social issues in Hindi and Marathi. I have never participated in any dharnas or morchas. I am considering taking legal opinion. All I need is a sincere apology from the Palghar police.”
Marcus Dabre said, “The notice has defamed me, putting a question mark on my environmental works in the Vasai belt.”
Gaurav Singh, superintendent of police (SP), Palghar, said he has ordered his subordinates to immediately withdraw the notices sent erroneously.
“I have also issued show-cause notices to the police officers concerned to explain the basis of sending such notices to eminent personalities,” he said.