The Maharashtra Police had arrested one of their own “honest” police officers in May 2015, a day before he was to retire. We use the term “honest” as most national newspapers that reported this story has prefixed this adjective before his name.
Inspector Suhas Gokhale, senior inspector (Anti Narcotic Cell: Azad Maidan unit) :
- Served the police force for 30-years, of which he spent 14-years in a state of partial paralysis after being injured in the line of duty
- May 2015: On the day of his retirement parade, Gokhale, and four others were arrested in Mumbai, in front of fellow officers, on charges of helping a drug kingpin
- Despite pleading to be allowed to at least attend his retirement parade, he was not permitted to do so and arrested at midnight
- They had been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act alleging association with drug peddler Shashikala alias Baby Patankar
- Despite the court, while granting him bail, said there was no evidence against Gokhale, the senior inspector was tortured for four long years
- March 2019: The case fell after a second forensic report in March this year confirmed that the drug found was Monosodium glutamate (MSG) colloquially called ‘ajinomoto’ and not Mephedrone
- July 2019: The Mumbai Crime Branch has dropped all charges against five policemen
Gokhale has breathed a sigh of relief yet does not consider this as a sign of victory in any manner. Speaking with Mumbai Mirror, senior acquitted cop said:
In law, there is a maxim ‘justice delayed is justice denied. They have exonerated me after four years and two months for an offence I never committed. How can I claim I got justice?
While adding how this arrest and charges will have a lifelong impact on his 30-year-long service, he said,
It took them two lines to say they found no evidence against me. I was due for retirement the day after. All I asked them to do was wait till I was given my farewell, but they did not listen.
My Hero – A man who they tried to crush mercilessly and failed.
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