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‘Moral cop’ Vasant Dhoble retires after 39 years of service in the force

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Vasant Dhoble, after having served in the police force for 39 years, retired on Saturday. He was known as the face of moral policing in Mumbai.

“Feels like I am going to be free today,” said the retired ACP, during his farewell, as reported by the Indian Express.

“Will definitely miss the department (police) since I would have no powers to take action against illegal activities,” he added.

In 2012, when Dhoble was the head of the Social Service Branch of the police, he was in the news for conducting raids at eating outlets, and pubs, reportedly often wielding a hockey stick and citing outdated rules.

The Indian Express reported that between April and June 2012, he raided Amar juice center in Vile Parle West, Cafe Zoe in Lower Parel and restaurant Masala Curry in Andheri West, where he detained 11 women on the suspicion of being involved in sex racket. A fruit vendor in Santacruz East allegedly died of a heart attack in January 2013 while fleeing from Dhoble.

As per the report, before the farewell ceremony began, Dhoble claimed he is relieved that his name has been cleared in the 108 cases registered against him.

“I leave without any blemishes or controversies,” he said, adding that he will always remember November 23, 2014, as that was the day all the cases against him were closed.

Dhoble worked with the Missing Bureau during the last few months of his tenure.

 

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Indian Hospitals are using cameras, tags, lasers to curb Baby trafficking and theft

Indian hospitals are educating their staff to spot baby thieves amid fears that baby trafficking is becoming an organized crime nationwide

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Activists of Socialist Unity Center of India-Marxist (SUCI-M) protest a recent case of child trafficking in West Bengal state in Kolkata, India, Nov. 29, 2016. Officials busted a child trafficking racket and rescued more than 20 children, according to news reports
Activists of Socialist Unity Center of India-Marxist (SUCI-M) protest a recent case of child trafficking in West Bengal state in Kolkata, India, Nov. 29, 2016. Officials busted a child trafficking racket and rescued more than 20 children, according to news reports. VOA

Hospitals in India are starting to tag newborns, mothers, and medics as well as installing extra security cameras and educating staff to spot baby thieves amid fears that baby trafficking is becoming an organized crime nationwide.

Officials said this was part of a drive starting at government hospitals in southern Tamil Nadu state to ensure nurses, doctors and visitors know of the threat of babies being stolen from maternity wards and babies being sold illegally for adoption that is baby trafficking.

At the Rajaji government hospital in Madurai, the first in Tamil Nadu to introduce the program, laser beams at exit points trigger alarms if untagged adults take babies out in order to curb baby trafficking.

“We just want to prevent the theft of babies,” N.K. Mahalakshmi, the doctor in charge of laser tagging at the hospital, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It is not fool proof but a deterrent. … Our hospital staff has also been told to be extra vigilant.”

Traffickers, officials sometimes collude

Campaigners have raised concerns that traffickers are often colluding with officials to steal babies from maternity wards and illegally sell them for adoption which is baby trafficking.

Mumbai police arrested a gang for convincing single mothers to sell their babies last year, while in West Bengal police found newborns being stolen from mothers in medical clinics after staff told them that their babies were stillborn.

Dev Ananth, a child protection officer in Tirunelveli district, said the state government is investigating several cases where hospital staff persuaded mothers to sell their babies for about 10,000 Indian rupees ($156).

Tirunelveli district will put posters up in every hospital, alerting pregnant women, families, and staff to the dangers of baby trafficking in overcrowded corridors.

“Many don’t see it as a trafficking issue,” he said.

“We are going to train hospital staff to identify potential cases, including what to do if a baby is abandoned at birth. At present, the do’s and don’ts are not clear.”

No official data on baby trafficking

There is no official data on the number of babies stolen from hospitals in Tamil Nadu, but almost 180,000 children were born in government facilities in 2016, statistics show.

More than four out of 10 of human trafficking cases in India in 2015 involved children being bought, sold and exploited as modern-day slaves, according to crime figures.

“Public hospitals are vulnerable spaces where there are no effective ways to monitor access to newborn babies,” said Paul Sunder Singh of the children’s charity Karunalaya. (VOA)

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WhatsApp helps Prevent Marriage of a Minor Girl in Maharashtra

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Whatsapp, Pixabay

Mumbai, May 07, 2017: A WhatsApp message sent by an alert neighbour to a Mumbai journalist, who in turn alerted the authorities, helped prevent a minor girl’s marriage in this tourist city, officials said on Saturday.

Prompt police action foiled the marriage of the girl – aged 17 years and 8 months – in Harsul area of the city on Friday afternoon.

The Mumbai journalist forwarded the WhatsApp message to the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission Chairperson Vijaya Rahate.

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“As it sounded serious, I contacted the Aurangabad Deputy Commissioner of Police-Zone II Rahul Shrirame around 9 a.m., requesting him to look into the matter urgently,” Rahate said.

“I immediately despatched a two-member police team from the local Harsul police station to go and fully enquire into the matter and inform me of the factual position,” Shrirame told IANS.

The police team led by Inspector Dnyanesh Sable reached the marriage venue where full merry-making was underway with dancing, music and the marriage feast being readied nearby.

“We went and met the families of the bride and the groom who were making last-minute preparations for the ‘mangal mahurat’ scheduled at 11 a.m. in an adjacent temple,” Sable told IANS.

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As the guests continued their revelry, Sable and his men made discreet investigations with the two families and learnt that the girl was indeed a minor and could not be married for at least another four months as per Indian law. The legal age to marry for women in India is 18.

The police learnt that the teen came from a very poor family, her mother had deserted her father who is paralysed since years and unable to support the family, and dependent on relatives for sheer survival.

A marriage proposal was received for the girl at a recent family wedding, which her uncle and others pursued and the wedding was finalised for May 5.

Sable informed DCP Shrirame and the police counselled the two families, making it absolutely clear that if they went ahead with the wedding they could face stringent police action.

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“Fortunately, the boy’s side also understood the gravity of the situation. They have decided to perform the marriage after some more months elapses and the girl is legally eligible to marry,” DCP Shrirame said.

In a bid to assuage the feelings of a large number of wedding guests, the police team requested them to partake of the marriage feast, but minus the wedding, of course.

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The police also requested the guests to ensure they returned to bless the couple at their ‘legal marriage’ after four months and received a huge round of applause in the marquee for their prudent handling of the delicate situation.

Shrirame and Rahate said that though social networking sites have a lot of irrelevant stuff circulating if used properly it can act as a major catalyst in preventing such potentially serious incidents. IANS

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Probe in Salman Khan hit-and-run case had lapses, says cop

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Mumbai: A circular highlighting the blunders and breaches in the 2002 hit and run case investigations involving famous Bollywood actor Salman Khan  was issued to all the police stations in the city by the Mumbai police.

The move was aimed at preventing the discomfort caused due to losing a case involving high profile personalities.

“A circular (in this regard) has been sent to all police stations in the city,” a senior official attached with Mumbai police told reporters. “This is to prevent the embarrassment which police face following the Salman Khan case,” he said.

The circular noted 16 major lapses among several other procedural fallacies of the police.

Key highlights of the lapses were:

  • Salman assumed alcohol according to the bills accumulated from the bar. However, the bills were not collected according to the provisions of section 65 (B) of the Evidence Act.
  • The bills from J W Marriot and the vehicle’s parking bill collected by the police were not attached with the panchnama. This resulted in doubts about Salman’s exact time of leaving the bar.
  • Although Salman was available since the morning of September 28, 2002, he was taken for the medical examination only in the afternoon.
  • Salman’s blood sample was collected at the J J Hospital. However, the blood sample of the deceased was taken at the Bhabha Hospital.
  • The blood samples were stored in the police station for two days before taking them to the forensics on September 30, 2002. Therefore, the court suspected that the samples could have been tampered or not stored properly. This lead to the doubts about the biological report being trustworthy.
  • The statement of the constable who brought the samples was not recorded while the investigation was taking place.
  • In spite of the fact that 6 ml of blood was extracted from Salman. Only 4 ml of it was received by the lab. Moreover, no examination of the clerk who received the samples was conducted.
  • No verification of the medical papers done by the investigating officer.
  • Section 66 (i) (b) of Bombay Prohibition Act wasn’t framed despite such irregularities.
  • There was no record of statements by the witnesses. Nobody stated that Salman was driving the car.
  • The defence presented bursting of a tyre as the cause of the accident. However, cross-checking of the claim wasn’t conducted by sending the tyre to the forensic lab.
  • Lastly, there was no interrogation conducted of singer Kamaal Khan, who was available for it.

The 50-year old actor was acquitted of all charges by the Bombay High Court.

Senior officials from the city asked other officers to present future cases void of loopholes, taking a cue from the Salman Khan case. (picture courtesy:newsworldindia.in)(Inputs from Agencies)