Cop’s 25-yr wait for justice

Accused of being part of police protest in 1982, retired cop threatens to kill himself, if the state does not look into the alleged false charges

It’s been 25 years and Madhukar Ghosalkar (65), a retired assistant police sub inspector, is fighting for the reinstatement of his pride.

During the 1982 police protests, Ghosalkar claims to have been falsely implicated as a threat to national security since he was a part of an association dealing with problems of police personnel, which was thought to be involved in the protests.

Although neither he nor the association had anything to do with the protest, he was imprisoned for a month. He was also dismissed from duty.

Ghosalkar wants the state government to enquire into why he has to bear the brunt for a crime he never committed. In its 2007 reply, the state government clarified that no enquiry could be initiated as the HC had already given its verdict.

Disappointed, Ghosalkar has vowed to immolate himself and his wife on December 15. “The government will relent only when we set ourselves ablaze. I have spent the best years of my life fighting for justice,” he says.

Troubled history

Ghosalkar joined the Maharashtra Police in 1963 and was with the Thane Commissionerate during the 1982 police protests. Ghosalkar claims he was falsely implicated and imprisoned at Yerawada jail (Pune) for a month.

“On August 18, 1982, the Thane police picked me up from night duty in Bhiwandi. They accused me of being a part of the protest under the National Securities Act, 1980, (NSA) and I was dismissed from duty,” he tells MiD DAY.

Ghosalkar then appealed to the Bombay High Court and was acquitted of charges under the NSA. The dismissal charges, however, have still not been cleared. “In 1988, when Sharad Pawar called several dismissed policemen to the department, I rejoined the force.

However, the 2001 High Court judgment maintained my dismissal and so my pending wages and three appraisals during six years (1982 to 1988) were annulled. I also moved the SC to look into the matter, which directed me to appeal to the Directoral General of Police.

No action has been taken so far,” Ghosalkar adds, saying that his letters to the Chief Minister, Chief Justice Swatantra Kumar and Home Minister R R Patil have all fallen on deaf ears.

1982 police protest

 

In 1982, the Mumbai police protested against the government for not fulfilling their demands like increase in wages, decrease in service hours, the need for an organisation to be formed to resolve their issues, among others.

Hence, to mark their protest, police officers in Mumbai tied black armbands on Independence Day of 1982.

‘Wounds are still fresh’

 

The Kawle family staying at Prabhadevi, in Dadar, will never forget the 1982 riots.

It’s been 25 years since they lost their 13-year-old daughter Nandini. Their son Sandeep (19) nearly lost his leg.

On August 18, there was curfew all over the city and residents of Prabhadevi were pelting stones on the police.

The State Reserve Police Force open fired to control the crowd. A bullet injured Sandeep’s leg and hit Nandini in the stomach.

That day still haunts Sandeep. “I can never forget that day. Today, too I can see blood all over,” says Sandeep. “I used to work in an electric shop then.

The owner asked us to return home, as there was curfew all over Mumbai,” he continues.

“I rushed home in the afternoon and went downstairs with my sister and friends to see the curfew.

The police open fired and one bullet pierced my leg and then hit my sister in the stomach.

When one of the residents took my injured sister to the policeman who had shot her, the cop pointed the gun at him.

Realising that the cops would not help us, we then rushed to KEM Hospital.

My sister died on the 13th day. After two months in the hospital, I recovered from my injury in six months.”

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