BY FLYNN REMEDIOS: Do you know how much police officials at the Kashimira Police Station illegally earn per day as “bribes” from illegal dance bars, orchestra bars and other similar joints including prostitution dens or illegal beauty and massage palours – which double as “quickie sex joints” in the Dahisar-Kashimira-Mira-Bhayandar belt every day?
Most people in the trade know that each illegal joint pays at least Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 per day or around Rs 30 to Rs 50,000 per month. There are over 120 such joints including lodges, bars, ladies bars, guest-houses, massage palours, hookah joints, etc., in the jurisdiction of the Kashimira Police Station alone.
According to reliable sources, including police officials, the Kashimira Police Station makes around Rs 2 to Rs 2.5 lakh per day or about 50 lakh per month in bribes.
What is very shocking is that given the rise of the BJP in Mira-Bhayandar over the last few years, almost every dance bar or ladies bar owner has joined the Bhartiya Janta Party and about 8 dance bar owners have been given tickets for the MBMC polls by BJP MLA and local strongman Narendra Mehta (more on this in our next article).
According to an IndiaScribes.com Special Report, each of these illegal ladies bars and dance bars were asked to cough up a contribution of Rs 8 to 10 lakh for the BJP election expenses (Read Report Here)
Why are these bribes paid? Almost every bar in the area is indulging in illegal activities. According to a FPJ report, after dragging their feet for several months, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had in March-April 2017 started demolishing secret compartments in orchestra bars which were used to hide girls during police raids.
Police officials know where these secret cavities are, but yet turn a blind eye during raids. The raids are carried out as the Police Station has to show a certain number of arrests or detentions per month. Each police station is given a “quota” or “target” by the DCP or DySp or SP and has to reach that monthly target of fines or penalty collection each month.
In the past, secret hideouts at several ladies orchestra bars in Kashimira including Mantra, Kashish and Memsaab to name a few have been raided, but very few “girls” were found. In each of these bars during “full working days” there are 20 to 40 “girls” most of them also working as prostitutes to service clients who frequent these bars.
The civic administration had slapped notices to around 70 establishments flouting the law to destroy such hideouts or any other illegally carried out structural changes, but not much came out of it. The MBMC carried out token raids, destroyed a few such secret cavities and then after a few days it was back to normal with the ‘raided’ bars rebuilding the ‘secret rooms’ and cavities.
After taking charge as Thane (Rural) SP last year, Dr Mahesh Patil was trying his best to curb illegal activities including demolition of secret cavities, keeping tabs on vulgar, obscene acts and immoral activities in most of the orchestra and dance bars in the Mira Road division. But in spite of his zeal, Patil has not met with much success. Corruption is rampant at Kashimira and Kanakia Police Stations and there is a clear distribution of ‘bribe money’. Right from the Senior Inspector to the lowly hawaldar, everyone gets their ‘fixed share’ of the daily payoff.
The police stations maintain password-protected Excel sheets – on computers and laptops provided by the Government of course – to keep track of which police official has collected how much each month. Depending on rank, police officials have a target for “official” and “unofficial” collections, says our source from the Kashimira Police Station.
Around mid-July officials of the Thane (Rural) police raided a lodge identified as Sai Residency – which technically comes under the jurisdiction of the Kashimira Police Station. On instructions of SP (Dr) Mahesh Patil, Sai Residency was raided by the in-charge of the Naya Nagar police station.
Acting on a tip-off of immoral activities – read flesh trade or prostitution, a team led by Senior PI Vaibhav Shingare and PI (Crime) Nigam under the instructions of SP Dr Mahesh Patil, a decoy was sent. After confirmation of prostitution activities in the lodge, the police swooped down on the premises located on the highway. While six girls were rescued, the manager of the lodge was held under relevant sections of the Prevention of Immoral Trade Act. The raid raised questions about the patrolling and diligence of the Kashimira police station under whose jurisdiction the lodge was being operated without any fear of the law.
Senior Inspector of Kashimira Police Station was not available for comments on this story or allegations of bribery made above.
When this reporter visited Kashimira Police Station, he was abruptly shooed away by a head constable who was sitting on the Duty Officer (SHO’s) chair.