//Drug frame-up: Senior cop may be involved

Drug frame-up: Senior cop may be involved

S Ahmed Ali 28 Nov, 2006 TIMES NEWS NETWORK

MUMBAI: The investigation into the framing of a real estate agent in a narcotics case (as reported in TOI's Monday edition) has thrown up the name of one more senior police officer.

The MRA Marg police—who registered an FIR last week against 11 policemen, including sub-inspector Rajendra Bhosle of Dongri police station and two builders Ravi Shelatkar and P R Sundaram—believe a senior officer may have brought Shelatkar and Bhosle together. But police are tightlipped about the name of the officer as they are yet to arrest the other accused in the case.

The case dates back to 2000 when Shelatkar had floated a redevelopment project for which Rajesh Solanki, an estate agent, collected about Rs 1.83 crore from various businessmen. But the project never worked out and Solanki started demanding his money back. Finally one day, Shelatkar called Solanki to his friend P Sundaram's office in Jogeshwari on October 19, 2004, promising to hand over Rs 1.25 crore.

That evening, Solanki was intercepted by seven to eight policemen, including sub inspector Bhosle of Dongri police station, who took him to Dongri police station and booked him for possession of brown sugar and an illegal weapon.
After spending five months in jail, Solanki was released when DCP Naval Bajaj carried out a departmental inquiry and found him to be innocent. Solanki then filed a private complaint in Mazgaon Metropolitan Magistrate's court which ordered the deputy police commissioner (DCP) to register an FIR under the arms and narcotics acts against the accused policemen.

Investigations are now on, but the police have not been able to put their hands on the senior officer who's believed to have brought the builder and sub-inspector together. There is a proposal to hand over the case to the state CID in order to ensure a free and fair investigation given the sensitivity of the issue.

The police are now looking for the white Tata Sumo in which Bhosle and his 10 policemen had gone to Jogeshwari to pick up Solanki on October 19, 2004, and planted 340 grams of brown sugar on him and arrested him under the Narcotic Drugs and Pyschotropic Substances Act. The police are likely to arrest the two panchas (witnesses) who gave false statements and evidence in Solanki's case.

One disturbing aspect of the case is that sub inspector Bhosle, despite being attached to Dongri station, went way out of his jurisdiction to Jogeshwari, 20 kilometres away, to nab Solanki. All the 10 constables accused of aiding and abetting Bhosle, have turned against him now, according to the findings of the departmental inquiry. The constables are believed to have narrated the entire story to then DCP Bajaj.