The video has prompted the police to launch an inquiry. (Representational)
THE MUMBAI Police launched an inquiry after a Sub-Inspector, posted at Malwani police station, celebrated his birthday on Tuesday night at the office of a social worker, who is facing trial in an extortion case.
According to police, Sub-Inspector Dnyanoba Indrale was supervising the closure of shops at Malwani’s Gate No 7 before the 9 pm curfew on Tuesday, when a local social worker, Nadim Shaikh, discovered that it was the officer’s birthday.
Police said Shaikh invited Indrale and his colleague into the office of Yuva Ekta Samajik Sanstha, where he works as an adviser. A case extortion was registered against Suremdra Yadav, the organisation’s founder, and Shaikh in 2015, police added.
“We have worked closely with Indrale over the summer while facilitating the return of migrant workers to their home states. He has done commendable work in Malwani ever since the lockdown was imposed and we just wanted to show our appreciation,” Yadav said.
Yadav further said Indrale stepped into the office after much persuasion. A widely shared video shows Indrale blowing the candles on a cake before feeding slices to Yadav, Shaikh and two other unidentified men, one of whom is associated with a political party. Indrale’s colleague is seen refusing a slice of cake. In the video, Indrale is one of three men not wearing a mask.
Yadav said Indrale took off his mask to blow the candles and that the video did not convey complete facts.
Shaikh said the organisation made it a point to felicitate the local police every year on Independence Day and Republic Day, among other occasions. “I don’t see any harm in felicitating a Covid warrior at this time. I admit that we may not have followed distancing norms but there are a lot more people out on the streets who also violate those norms,” he said.
The video has prompted the police to launch an inquiry. Additional Commissioner of Police (North Region) Dilip Sawant said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XI) Mohan Dahikar will verify and inquire into the events of Tuesday night.
“We are also speaking to Indrale to record his version of events. We will give him a chance to explain himself before deciding action to be taken,” said a senior police officer.
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