Category Archives: Maharashtra police

'Crime' being single

When I resolved to become a journalist I was too naïve to realise that as a journalist I won’t be considered only as a working woman. There are many related issues which I would face suddenly without being prepared, while I braced myself for reporting only. I have never understood till date how my marital status affects me as a reporter. Especially when dealing with the police force at any level. Strangely the politicians who otherwise keep an eye on the reporters’ ‘weighty’ issues never show as much curiosity regarding our marital status.

With the change of guard every time I hope that the traditional mindset will change. But instead I’ve had to sharpen my skills to deal with this personal question. I have changed from being tremendously defensive and slightly aggressive because I don’t think my single status is for public consumption. And now I’m totally humorous, poke fun at myself and the questioner.

In fact one police inspector source would call me at odd hours to give news and I’d say family will not like. Promptly I was asked for residence address, whether the husband was nice, number of children and if he was a good father. Astounded I said I can’t talk at that hour. In fact another asked if I had few children because he thought I looked motherly. Now what that means I’m still to understand.

In fact in true police style I would be asked, bang in the middle of an interview taking me off guard. In fact one former director general of police was keen on finding me a suitor. I feared he would soon register my name with a matrimonial bureau. So I began exchanging notes with few women police officers.

So few days ago I met up with a senior lady police officer and we as usual were sharing our laughs and little gossip. I told her it is time I tell any inquisitive male police officer who asks me if I am single that I am either a divorcee or a widow. She laughed throwing her head back and said, “Oh so you too are subjected to queries regarding your marital status?”

The lady officer said how women have been the subject of gossip and talk within the male journalistic and police fraternity. Continuing in a lighter vein she asked me to declare that I am a widow because at least then the officers would show some sympathy. The lady officer cautioned me if I said I am divorcee I would become a butt of more loose talk and would be declared the cause of the break up.

And I realised I wasn’t alone. They too were put through these queries which made to the corridors giving enough fodder to us journalists. In fact one very senior officer gave me words of advice and cautioned me never to make friends with policemen. “We can never be friends, we are always police,” these words guided me through out as a reporter. In fact few months ago a senior police officer threatened to call me late at night to his office I told please do call other journalists too because I was confident he didn’t want to give exclusive news to only one newspaper. He never bothered to meet me after that.

Historic day for Mumbai & state police force

I write this with great pleasure, as i do feel vindicated. I hope the player concerned realises what a league he has left behind. it is abso clear, MN Roy will have to GO as the DGP on May 31, when he retires.

2 days ago i was on way to Bhiwandi, when i went via Thane commissionerate’s office. The buzz was ‘Tklya’ is on his way out. That is the word used…abbreviation for a bald person in India -taklya. Roy is to go across for a meeting on May 29. At this talk the local constables too have been called. The police asked me, “so madam do you think he will go?” I like this question coz i’ve been waiting for this man to get out of the police force. NOT because i’ve taken him on, yes i have. But because he is a through corrupt, inefficient & abso dishonest policeman. In addition to carrying his northern feudal mentality. So i was all the more amused that Maharashtrian cops asked me what i thought.

Just last week i had gone over with few other female junior colleagues to meet the home secretary Chandra Iyengar. The minute i spoke of my favourite cop, Hassan Gafoor, she was a hen whose feathers were ruffled. She was emphatic, nasty, sarcastc & went onto say, “Gafoor is not on my radar…ok” “He is not my background, foreground…no one is talking of him, ok girls…” i want to laugh. Has she bit her tongue. Because i remembered this exact conversation at the Thane commissioner’s office. What has this lady got into? She along with her dear, ‘Shiva” for us commoners it means D Sivanandan, the commissioner of police…they with Roy had formed a conglomerate in the officers circle. Poor lady. As a woman i’m sympathetic that she lost out on the dominating, patriarchal male monopoly of IAS officers. She was denied the post of Chief Secretary. But this moron lady made her displeasure known reg Gafoor. Coz he had the balls to say that the 2 South Indian officers & 2 north Indian officers stayed put at their homes & cabins rather than step out on the night of terror attacks, 26/11, 2008.

She was their shield. She wanted to put Gafoor in a fix & had initiated a departmental inquiry & wanted to earnestly give an extension to her favourite ‘taklya.’ what went wrong then?? only they can answer. The police force is tainted. One joint commissioner is alleged to provided women & Rs 20 cr for a Mumbai posting. He was posted at a place near to mumbai where one minister has a stronghold. Well, he’s alleged to have eloped with a married lady despite both being formally married to other spouses…now that’s what a cop is for you in Maharashtra.

Taklya or as Roy is called…has already got into innumerable problems, legal, ego, corruption, protecting tainted officers & taking bribes to hush murders & cases. Well he hated some of us reporters because we’d ask questions about it, question his proximity to a political person- his godfather along with those of NCP; some gangsters too i’m told. He was the first ever CP who had to issue clarifications that he isn’t close to any political party or person.

Then his posting to the post of head of state police -TAINTED yet again. He was without any post for 6 months….was seen at every Page 3 party. One really has to be thick skinned to be like him. The former DGP of anti-corruption, Chakraberty took this man to court. He was then posted as DGP..he did all in his capacity to get an extenstion.

Now the Thane cops tell me, “Madam this meeting on 29th is vv imp.” Is it I ask…why? They had a smirk & said, “Because constables too have been called.” I had this huge frown, my anntenaes went up! Is it? so? Its good to sound dumb when wants the other person to say something….’Bcoz madam it means the DG is saying, tata, good bye… haha they laugh. I was like, ok…constables..ho hum…but why?? “Because he wants to talk to them, which the DG never does. He doesn’t go down to this level. TO motivate them, blah blah…madam this is his farewell talk.” I see…

so I spoke to few other senior cop friends & sources they were like, “Neeta he’s calling for farewells. He’s attending parties galore.” I was like what’s new? huh he & few others thrive on it…so they were like, “No there has been a circular for raising money for his final farewell by the police club.” The one at worli…i was like wow! There is some god. Finally after all his powers, all what he has done, the money he has, he can’t change his destiny. He will get NO extension, he has to LEAVE.

I strongly believe may 31st, is HISTORIC for mumbai & state police. We are truly embarking in a new environment, new league & new times. I am in favour of gafoor because he is honest. He is NOT tainted & gives an ant’s arse to anyone to tries to bribe him. He is my hero, someone i look upto & see that there is hope…i’m waiting for this hope in media & journalism too…let’s see…i wonder what will happen to Iyengar….what happens to the other 4 cops??

Also for the sake of 26/11 widows & their families i hope my cop friend Gafoor talks.. henceforth stands up for what he believes…i can only hope…may be this decision & new posting will motivate him.