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I always perform my duties within the limits of the law: Abhinash Kumar

Abhinash Kumar-Safalya Holey-Nation Next
IPS officer Abhinash Kumar (Photo by: Safalya Holey)

IPS officer Abhinash Kumar needs no introduction in Nagpur. Kumar, who basically hails from Patna and is a mechanical engineer from IIT Kanpur, worked as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Zone V until a few days back. He has now been transferred to Amravati as SP rural. During his more than four year long stint in Nagpur, he served as the DCP of different zones in the city leaving his mark in every zone he worked in. Be it raiding a gambling den in a plush hotel in Zone I (in Ramdaspeth) or coming down heavily on prostitution prevailing in Nagpur’s red light area Ganga Jamuna in Zone III, DCP Abhinash Kumar was always in news for his strict action against illegal activities. His strictness earned him the tag ‘The Singham of Nagpur,’ a tag which he says he’s unaware of. Before getting relocated from Nagpur, Abhinash Kumar in an interview with Nation Next, spoke about his inspiration behind pursing civil services, his passion for policing and his stint in Nagpur.

Excerpts:

What inspired you to become an IPS officer?

In any job, it is very important that you derive satisfaction. A police officer spends at least 12-14 hours a day in policing. The unique thing about policing in comparison with all other services is that it gives one a chance to solve the problems of the people directly. Be it any problem, a person approaches the police with a hope to get the problem solved. He doesn’t know whether the problem concerns the police or not but he has an expectation from the police. Policing gives you a chance to interact with the people directly and solve their problems. That’s just a kick in your life. That inspired me to become an IPS officer.

You’re a very tough police officer and known for providing instant solutions. While goons dread you big time, citizens are scared you as well?

Is it so? If you visit any of my police stations where I worked as a DCP in Nagpur, you’ll find my personal mobile number long with ACP’s number listed for the people. It was done so that the people could call or whatsapp me with any information. I don’t know how this perception has been created. It’s good that you have pointed it out. I will try my level best to narrow the bridge between me and the people.

You’re a hands on police officer. There are only 24 hours a day. How do get so much time to follow this passion of policing?

It’s my job! In spite of all the negative criticism that comes with policing, keeping in mind the kind of environment my men work in, one must give a thumbs up for all my men right from the constable to the PI . They work more than I do. Let me give you an example. Sometime back a noise pollution act was passed in which responsibilities were fixed for various departments. As per the act, concerned authorities were responsible for enforcing the noise pollution standards and take action in case nuisance is being caused to the patient by noise. The police is responsible for the investigation. Finally, every department gave up the responsibility saying that they won’t be able to do it as they don’t work 24*7. They said that the responsibility should be shifted to the police. Even for conducting a normal 12th class exam, the police is needed. This shows that other departments are always dependent on the police, which creates an extra burden on us. People in those departments enjoy all their holidays but a policeman doesn’t. Whether it is festival or a major police bandobast, my policemen are always on guard. What I mean to say is: For the kind of environment in which my men work, for the kind of responsibility which has been given to police, everybody should give a thumbs up to them.

Your passion for policing emanates discipline and strictness in your policing. Have you faced any problems at times because of this strict approach? There is a perception that the more strict you are with the goons, there is a possibility of your transfer? Have you faced that kind of a problem?

Not at all. In fact, I spent more than four years in Nagpur.

There were reports that DCP Masirkar was transferred to a different zone because she came down heavily on the Dabba Trade scam?

That’s the problem with the media these days. When there is no masala, they try to put that masala and make a story out of nothing! Had she been transferred because of the case, would she have been supervising the case in spite of being in-charge of Zone I?

Prior to being transferred to Nagpur, you also had a stint in Wardha, which is a dry state. Policing is very difficult in a dry state. What kind of problems did you face? Is it a distraction from regular policing?

Each place requires a different kind of policing. To say that it creates an extra burden will be wrong. It’s the job of the police. If you see from Tax Payer’s or Government’s perspective, the government cannot put up a department and infrastructure like the police for a specific purpose as that will require a lot of resources. Maharashtra Police itself has almost 3,00,000 policemen. Imagine the kind of burden it will put on the government and the tax payer if a department like the police is established. Finally, it boils down to the fact that we are a developing nation and development and upliftment of poor is very important.

There are reports that you get so much agitated with goons or anti social elements that you have gotten into physicality with them. Is it true or is it just a perception?

There’s nothing like that. I always perform my duties within the limits of the law.

You were in Nagpur for quite some time. Did you make any friends in Nagpur? What kind of social life do you lead

Yes, definitely, I have friends in Nagpur. Being a public servant, it really matters as to where do I interact and with whom I interact. For example: I’ll definitely attend a private function if that’s in my personal capacity but I cannot be there for the inauguration of a car showroom! I have always maintained that kind of a difference.

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Governance

Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit.  In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.

Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”

“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”

Watch the full interaction here: https://youtu.be/FNeTrm0v0dw

Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.

Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”

Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”

Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”

Also read: Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Governance

Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm.

Dharavi

Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…  

Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’

While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”

The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project.  While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years. 

Also read: Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Crime

Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai
The Bombay High Court said ex-minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues.

Anil Deshmukh

The Bombay High Court said, as per prima facie, 74-year-old former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, said that when Deshmukh’s bail plea was moved on medical grounds, then a fresh medical report needed to be called for. 

Singh said, “There is a compilation that has been given now. There are medical papers attached. We need to go through it. Even though this is not a bail application on merit of the case, it is still being circulated under medical issues. He is getting medical treatment as required. Moreover, medical issues are not static. We need a check on what his condition is right now.”

Deshmukh’s advocate Vikram Chaudhari said the senior NCP leader was being treated but has been suffering from several ailments that require constant treatment and care. Chaudhary said, ”He needs to be released. He is a chronic patient.”

Justice MS Karnik said that the court would hear the bail plea on merits. He said, “I am satisfied that we can proceed with the hearing on merits and give it priority. This is my prima facie opinion that priority should be given. One of the medical ailments (that Deshmukh is suffering from) is degenerative.” Deshmukh’s bail plea would now be heard on December 6.

The bench asked Singh whether he was ready to argue on the merits of the case immediately, to which Singh said he would require a week while Chaudhari said that he was ready to argue. However, Justice Karnik said, “We need to give them a fair opportunity.”

Also read: 10 lakh spectators across 50 km; PM Modi makes history with road show for BJP in Ahmedabad

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