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Every 3rd Pune corporator faces criminal cases

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As reported by ENS in expressindia.com on 10 July 2008:

Every 3rd Pune corporator faces criminal cases - ExpressIndia.Com


Every 3rd Pune corporator faces criminal cases


Pune, July 9 Charges include eve-teasing, keeping illegal arms, attempted murder; list topper has 20 cases


It’s not something that comes as a surprise perhaps, but nearly one-third of the elected corporators of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) have criminal cases registered against them.


According to a Right To Information (RTI) enquiry sought by The Indian Express from the Police Commissionerate, 44 of the city’s 144 elected corporators — 30 per cent — have had cases filed against them for criminal offences ranging from disturbing public peace to stabbing, possession of illegal weapons to even attempted murder.


In some instances, the number of cases against a corporator is as high as 20. Six women corporators are included in the list of offenders. While some of the corporators have been booked for relatively innocuous crimes like holding morchas or being involved in petty squabbles, a fairly large number have serious charges levied against them which include stabbing, eve-teasing, possession of illegal weapons, threat, extortion, running of gambling dens, making and selling illicit liquor, fraud and even attempt to murder. A few have also been booked under TADA and the MCOCCA.


“It is all hogwash and all the charges are made up by those envious of me,” said Nitin Jagtap who leads the list with some 20 cases registered against him. “I am called the king of the poor and the man who always blows the whistle on corrupt politicians.


“I am worth Rs 25 crore myself. So where is the need for me to indulge in illegal activities? There may be some four to five cases against me but they all have to do with my raising my voice against corruption,” the congressman added.


Congress and NCP corporators, incidentally, have the highest numbers of corporators in the dock — 12 each, followed by nine of the Shiv Sena, five from the BJP, four from the MNS and two independents. “It’s unfortunate but true that cash, caste and crime are all closely linked with politics,” said BJP corporator and Leader of the Opposition Vikas Mathkari.


“My party has always been against the criminalisation of politics and has asserted that those who have a proven criminal record should not be allowed to contest elections,” he asserted. “But our judicial system being so long drawn, criminals are allowed to contest till they are convicted of a crime and that is something that takes years to happen.”


Incidentally, Mathkari too has a charge against him for taking out a political morcha. He explained, “I have never been involved in any criminal activity in my life. But yes, there have been lots of morchas I have taken part in for public and social causes and that can never be called a crime.”


Corporator Ujjwal Keskar denied having any criminal case against him despite the five cases revealed by the records, including one under the Arms Act. “There is no truth in this. I am not involved in a single criminal case and no one has ever interrogated me on one either,” he claimed.


Commissioner of Police Jayant Umranikar declined to comment on the findings on the corporators but admitted that there cannot be any doubt on information given under the RTI. “It has to be 100 per cent correct data,” he said.


Reaffirming this, DCP (Crime Branch) Anil Kumbhare said that many of the charges appeared to be political in nature —- like breach of prohibitory orders, unlawful assembly of persons and holding morchas. He did admit, although, that there were also a string of serious charges ranging from stabbing and threats to extortion.


Some of the other corporators whose names are included in the list are Anil Jadhav, Rashid Sheikh and Deepak Mankar of the Congress, Ganesh Bidkar of the BJP, Sanjay Bhosale of the Shiv Sena, Avinash Jadhav and Raju Barate of the NCP and Rajabhau Gorde of the MNS.

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If good law abiding citizens do not act, such situation will aggravate from gram panchayat to parliament.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." --- Edmund Burke.

Jago Indians Jago!!!

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Data provided under RTI incorrect, point out angry corporators


As Reported by Express News Service, ExpressIndia.com July 13, 2008


Pune July 12 ‘Rashid Sheikh mixed up with namesake; political cases clubbed with criminal ones; corporators involved in murder cases not mentioned in list’


Corporators Deepak Mankar and Rashid Sheikh of the Congress and Ganesh Bidkar of the BJP said today that the list of corporators involved in criminal cases, as provided by the Police Commissionerate under the Right to Information Act (RTI), is faulty. The Indian Express had published a news item “Every third Pune corporator faces criminal cases” on Thursday, based on the information given by the Pune police commissionerate under the RTI.


Police Commissioner Jayant Umranikar had said that there could not be any doubt about information given under RTI. “It has to be 100 per cent correct data,” he had said. According to this information, Sheikh's name has appeared in six criminal cases, of which four are registered with the Wanavdi police.


“The information provided by the police is absolutely wrong because I was never arrested or even interrogated by the police in any of these cases. There are many Rashid Sheikhs among the 4.5 lakh Muslim population in Pune. The police have furnished the details of some other Rashid Sheikh,” he said.


When contacted, a Wanavdi police officer said that there is no case against corporator Rashid Sheikh, who is from Bhavani Peth. “We have cases against someone else who has the name Rashid Sheikh, who belongs to Wanavdi,” the officer said.


Mankar said that whatever complaints were lodged against him were for participation in political rallies. “The case mentioned against me at the Swargate police station was dissolved by the state government long back,” he said. When contacted, Swargate police officials confirmed that the case has been closed. “It is surprising that the names of those corporators who are involved in murder cases do not find mention in the list provided by the police commissionerate,” said Mankar.

Bidkar was shocked to see cases registered against his name. “I am not a criminal to be involved in so many crimes. There were a few cases against me, but only of the political kind, for using loudspeaker and so on. Three cases are already closed and I have the relevant documents to prove the facts,” he said.


Bidkar said the data provided by the police commissionerate was both outdated and incorrect and it was unfair that such innocuous cases were being clubbed under the banner of criminal cases.

Earlier, asked about this, DCP (Crime) Anil Kumbhare had said that the reason political morchas and other political activities are clubbed under criminal cases is that they amount to breaking the law and there are always chances that they can lead to a law-and-order situation.

The three corporators argued that if holding political morchas led to criminal cases, then all 144 corporators would have criminal cases against them and not just 44 as per the list provided by the police commissionerate.


Data provided under RTI incorrect, point out angry corporators - ExpressIndia.Com

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