April 9, 2015 2:33:28 am
In a fresh twist to the ongoing investigation against constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe (52), who was arrested last month by the Satara police for possession of mephedrone commonly known as the ‘Meow Meow’ drug, the Customs official named by Kalokhe as the ‘original owner’ of the drug reportedly does not exist. During interrogation, Kalokhe had named a Customs official by the name ‘Suryavanshi’ to whom the contraband belonged but when the Mumbai police inquired with the Customs department about the said officer, it was revealed that no such person existed.
On March 9, Kalokhe, who was posted with the Mill Special unit of the Marine Drive police, was arrested from his residence in Khandala with over 100 kgs of Mephedrone. Further investigations revealed his long standing association with a woman drug peddler, Shashikala Patankar alias Baby. The police is on the lookout for Patankar, who has been on the run since his arrest.
“Kalokhe claimed that Patankar gave him the drug for safe-keeping and it belonged to a Customs official. Patankar was desperate to get it back as the official wanted her to peddle it in the market but he refused to part with it. He also named the Customs official and claimed he worked with the Customs department of the Pune police. The information was then verified and we found that no such officer worked with the department,” an officer privy to the probe told The Indian Express.
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“We also checked if any of the officials in the Customs department ever had any link with Patankar or that whether she was an informant of the department. We found that Patankar was never in touch with any of the officials,” the officer added.
The police suspect vengeance to be the motive behind the constable’s arrest. “Tired of the constant physical abuse, Patankar decided to take revenge by getting the constable arrested. Her patience finally wore off this February when Kalokhe allegedly abused her violently in public,” sources said.
“The two were in a live-in relationship for the past few years and Kalokhe used to abuse her frequently. We suspect it to be a case of vengeance and the woman decided to settle her personal score by tipping off the Satara police on the contraband,” said the officer, adding, “Patankar initially tried her luck by tipping off about the banned substances to her sources in the Mumbai police but she failed to get a positive response. She then shared the information with her police sources in Pune who in turn shared it with the Satara police. Following this, a trap was laid and Kalokhe was arrested”.
A process to dismiss Kalokhe has already commenced. Additional Commissioner of Police Krishna Prakash submitted an interim report recommending his dismissal for conduct amounting to unbecoming of an officer. Meanwhile, the police is probing the role of four lower rung policemen who knew Patankar. “We have identified four policemen, three with the Mumbai Police and one with the Nashik Rural police, who have been in constant touch with Patankar in the period leading up to the raid at Kalokhe’s residence. Further investigations have also revealed that two of these policemen travelled to Khandala on the day of the raid,” said a senior officer with the Mumbai Police.
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