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After 2019, the largest number of vehicles were purchased for the Mumbai Police in June 2022.
Mumbai Police bought vehicles under the Nirbhaya Fund. These were meant to be used to fight crimes against women, but these vehicles have been deployed since July as escort vehicles for MPs and MLAs of the Eknath Shinde government in power in Maharashtra.
Significantly, in the security of Y-Plus with escort category, 5 policemen are available with the vehicle, who are on duty round the clock.
Read what is the whole matter
According to news agency PTI, in 2013, the Center had created the Nirbhaya Fund to implement the Nirbhaya scheme for the safety of women in the state. In June 2022, the Mumbai Police purchased 220 Boleros, 35 Ertiga, 313 Pulsar bikes and 200 Activa by spending more than Rs 30 crore under the same Nirbhaya Fund. In July, all these vehicles were sent to the police stations.
There was a change of government in Maharashtra only in July. A decree was issued to provide Y-plus with escort security to all 40 MLAs and 12 MPs of the ruling coalition of the Shiv Sena faction led by CM Shinde. In July itself, the VIP Security Department gave the order, after which the Motor Transport Department of Mumbai Police called for 47 Bolero vehicles from all the police stations. Out of these 47 Boleros, 17 have been returned, but 30 vehicles are yet to be returned.
There are no vehicles even for patrolling in many police stations
A senior police officer of Mumbai Police said on the condition of anonymity that the new Bolero vehicles were sent to the police units in June. The objective is to meet the shortage of vehicles in those police stations where vehicles are not available even for patrolling. These vehicles were sent to 95 police stations in the city. Depending on the jurisdiction and sensitivity, some police stations got one Bolero while some were given two vehicles.
However, within a few days of reaching the Bolero, the vehicles were asked to be returned so that they could be used for VIP security.
Motor transport claims – only 30 vehicles were called
According to the Motor Transport Department, 30 vehicles were called from police stations for VIP security. When the vehicles were not returned to them even after a few weeks, we started getting calls from police stations that they were finding it difficult to work. Then some vehicles were returned to the police stations, but not all vehicles have been returned.
VIP Security IG Krishna Prakash said that he had not called for the vehicles, but issued an order to provide resources for the security of the MLAs living in his jurisdiction.
Police of many police stations using personal vehicles since 6 months
Some police stations refused to give their new Bolero. A police station official said, “Out of our six vehicles, three are with the department for repairs. Even if we return the Bolero, will we go on foot to patrol the city? That’s why we refused to return the Bolero. I believe it was the right decision as many police stations which had sent back their Boleros have not received them even after six months.”
Another police station official said- “Ever since our Bolero was taken away, we are using vehicles from other police stations or even private vehicles to take the accused to the court.”
Police stations from which the vehicles were ordered
Navghar, Pantnagar and MIDC police stations got the vehicles back after three months. Many police stations including Saki Naka, Deonar, Trombay, Bhandup and Mulund from where one Bolero each was called are yet to take back the vehicles. Two Boleros were taken from Nehru Nagar and Shivaji Nagar police stations, these stations are still functioning without Boleros.
These are all sensitive police stations where patrolling is an important part of maintaining law and order and fighting crimes against women.
Many leaders of Maharashtra criticized
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