A day after assistant commissioner of police Vasant Dhoble was shunted, more than 100 Vakola residents protested outside the Vakola police station on Sunday.
They held placards supporting the “honest” policeman and demanded his reinstation. A resident of Vakola who was part of the crowd rallying for him, said, “Dhoble has ensured safety and security in our area and the place has been relatively peaceful after he took charge here.”
The residents protested for an hour and blocked the road for a few minutes.
A 40-year-old fruit vendor, Madan Jaiswal, died while Dhoble was conducting a drive against hawkers on Friday. Dhoble with his team was at Nehru Road near Santa Cruz (East) station. Seeing him, the hawkers started running helter-skelter. Dhoble allegedly started beating a few hawkers. Jaiswal tried running away but he fell and lost consciousness.
The other hawkers rushed him to VN Desai Hospital where he died during treatment. Later that day, around 400 hawkers gathered outside Vakola police station and protested the whole night against Dhoble.
Parag Alwani, a former corporator from Vile Parle, termed the transfer hasty. “His transfer was uncalled for. If there have been discrepancies in the way he functioned, he should have been warned. He was transferred under political pressure and the government should be ashamed of taking such a decision before conducting a proper inquiry.”
MLA Krishna Hegde supported the transfer. “Initially, we expected he will do good to the locality. But he didn’t perform as expected. He damaged 150 shops in Vile Parle without any notice. Most of them were not illegal. One shop was even run by a handicapped man,” he said.
He also added that a lot of burglaries had taken place in nine shops in Vile Parle and no action was taken by Dhoble. “He is neither proactive nor a responsible policeman,” said Hegde.