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6 cops suspended for 'fake' probe

India on 07 October 2013
Location : Mumbai, India | Source : Times of India

MUMBAI: Police commissioner Satya Pal Singh on Friday suspended six policemen, including senior inspector Avinash Sonawane of the Mahim police station. The six cops were facing departmental enquiry (DE) in a suspected fake detection of diamond theft case. The "detection" had taken place last year, when Sonawane was posted as senior inspector of the L T Marg police station.

Besides Sonawane, inspector Sarmalkar, sub-inspector Bharmi and three constables have been suspended. All were suspended after the DE was submitted to the senior police officials.

In April, home minister RR Patil had announced an inquiry against Sonawane after leader of Opposition in the legislative council Vinod Tawade had alleged that he was extorting money from builders. Sonwane has also been accused of accepting a gold chain from a college professor for some "favours". After Patil ordered the probe, Sonawane was transferred to the Mahim police station.

On April 10, 2013, TOI had reported about several inquiries that Sonawane faced for improper investigations, indiscipline and favouring individual parties while probing cases. "There are allegations that while money was recovered in a case, but nothing was shown on record. A constable and the investigating officer said they did it on Sonawane's ordersSonawane

," a source said. -Mateen Hafeez

There are also claims that Sonawane would assign cases to his "favourite" officers. "He would, at times, change the investigating officer in the midst of a probe, This is done when there are some allegations or slow probe" the source said. Another PE is being conducted on one of Sonawane's senior officers. "We came across cases where Sonawane allegedly suggested to the complainants to not lodge an FIR and insisted that he would help them in solving the cases," a senior officer claimed. He was facing an inquiry where the recovery was shown Rs 50,000 in a case where the complainant lost more than Rs 15 lakh. In 2012, in the cheating case of Nakoda jewellers, he was pulled up for not doing a proper investigation.

In the 2012 Union Chains and Jewellers and Indore jewellers' cheating cases, he is suspected to have conducted an improper probe. In case of Indore jewellers, no proper inquiry was done against the suspect. "In case Kanahaiyyalal Mewalal's complaint, Sonawane allegedly registered a case which did not fall under his jurisdiction. The case belonged to DB Marg police," the source said.

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