Mumbai: Three months ago he was booked on charges of extortion. Now, inspector (crime) Mahendra Chavan from Ulhasnagar-1 police station is under the scanner of his own department again, for allegedly replacing gold jewellery — recovered from a gang of robbers — with phoney ones.
On Monday, commissioner of police, Thane, Krishnapal Singh Raghuvanshi, ordered an inquiry into the matter after Ulhasnagar city MLA Kumar Ailani and chairman of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) transport committee Ashok Godbole met him, requesting appropriate action in the matter. “We met Raghuvanshi and gave a written complaint (copy available with MiD DAY) demanding inquiry by CID. We are grateful to the commissioner who promptly asked the local DCP to initiate a probe,” said Godbole.
Around 3.30 am on July 25, three robbers broke into the house of 55-year-old Mahesh Karia, a businessman living on the first floor of Krishna Sagar Apartment, Ulhasnagar-2. The armed accused held all family members hostage and robbed Rs 10 lakh in cash and gold ornaments worth Rs 16 lakh. Later, cops on patrol duty nabbed the three robbers when they were trying to hide in a nullah. The crooks have been identified as Gaurav Madhukar Kadam, Azad Singh Dudhani and Bhagat Singh Dudhani.
Quite a change!
According to Karia, a few days after the incident, Chavan, who was investigating the case, called him and asked him to collect eight bangles and a ring purportedly retrieved from the robbers. Karia realised the jewellery being handed to him was fake. “I refused to take the imitation jewellery. I have several witnesses who claim the robbers had handed over the ornaments to the police on the spot,” said Karia. After running from pillar to post for a while, he approached Ailani and Godbole.
"I am not aware of the incident,” said Dr Shivaji Rathod, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Ulhasnagar, when contacted by MiD DAY. In April, an FIR was registered against Chavan at Ulhasnagar-1 police station for allegedly threatening to book a former NCP corporator in a false case, after the latter refused to pay Rs 10,000 for renovation of the cop’s office.
The other side
“The imitation jewellery was recovered from the spot. The robbers have also accepted that this jewellery was in their possession. On the day of the recovery, Karia too had identified this jewellery as his own, but later he made an about-turn and refused to accept the property. The commissioner had called me up over this issue. I have told him what the truth is. The matter is under investigation, and the facts will come to the fore,” Mahendra Chavan told MiD DAY.