Prominent activists of bandra, Khar, Santacruz have launched a signature campaign to protest the transfer of Shivajirao Kolekar as the assistant commissioner of police in bandra division. Kolekar, who assumed office in bandra police station from June 1, was posted at the Colaba division. NGOs and ALMs from Andheri, too, are expected to join the protests.
According to activists, Kolekar’s tenure of 10 years in Bandra and Khar was fraught with controversies and it was a harrowing experience for them. To protest his transfer, Anandini Thakoor, chairperson of H(W) Ward Federation and Aftab Siddique, chairperson of 33rd Road ALM, have written to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, home minister RR Patil and Amitabh Rajan, additional chief secretary (home) requesting stay of Kolekar’s transfer. On Saturday, Thakoor, Siddique, Anil Joseph, chairperson of Perry Road Residents’ Association and Police Reforms Watch chairman Dolphy D’souza with other activists had a discussion with Vishwas Nangre Patil, additional commissioner of police, zone IX.
They will collect signatures of other activists, NGO members with their stamps, requesting removal of Kolekar from the Bandra division, in a letter which will be sent to Patil.
Thakoor sighted several reasons in her letter for her strong stance against Kolekar. “When home minister RR Patil has said that no police official can enjoy a term of more than three years in a division, how did Kolekar manage to stay in Bandra and Khar for more than 10 years? This is evident of the political backing he enjoys,” said Thakoor. She also alleged Kolekar is posted to Bandra and Khar, whenever the elections are around the corner. She said Kolekar was there during the 2009 elections. “Is there a dearth of police officials?
Why has he been transferred to Bandra even before the completion of his term at Colaba? We are fine with any other officer except him,” said Thakoor. She also warned in her letter that police public participation in the ward will take a severe beating if Kolekar is not transferred immediately.
During his previous term at the Khar police station, there are many instances where he had allegedly targeted activists. He had allegedly filed an FIR against Thakoor and Siddique at the behest of a few politicians. Siddique alleged that Kolekar has misused his power on several occasions and had also tried to malign a senior police inspector of Khar police station.
“When he was posted in Khar police station, he always stood for people from the builder lobby, politicians and anti-social elements instead of the common man,” wrote Siddique in a letter addressed to the chief minister and home minister. She alleged that Kolekar also didn’t let the BMC take action against hawkers as they were his informers.
Chairperson of Police Reforms Watch, Dolphy D’souza, too, agreed that Kolekar has always been anti-activist and the transfer has happened because of his political nexus. “If he is not transferred from Bandra immediately, it will surely dampen the spirit of police-public cooperation, which was excellent in Bandra,” said D’souza. He added that he must have been transferred with some malafide intention.
Vishwas Nangre Patil, however, requested the activists to be patient. “I proposed to them that they and Kolekar should have a meeting and resolve their differences amicably. I wasn’t here during his previous spell in Bandra and Khar. If activists face problems during my term, I will take the required action,” said Patil. Activists say they are miffed with the chief minister for this. “The state department is responsible for the transfer of senior police officials. Such decisions should not be influenced by politicians,” said Thakoor.