Mumbai: "I love you to bits, dad. You are and will always be my hero" - Saket Gokhale wrote in a poignant Facebook status message on Father's Day last Sunday. It has got over 8,000 shares and nearly 10,000 likes, but the one person it was meant for couldn't read it for days. Saket's father, who had been in jail for nearly a month, was granted bail three days later.
Suhas Gokhale, a senior police inspector in the anti-narcotics cell, was arrested on May 29, a day before his retirement, for suspected links to a mephedrone or Meow Meow drug syndicate. While granting him bail on Wednesday, a judge said the evidence against him was not legally sustainable.
After being granted bail, Mr Gokhale told NDTV on Thursday, "I did request the investigation officer to let me attend my retirement parade and they can arrest me as soon as I step out of the police gymkhana gate because I know my innocence will be proved eventually. But they arrested me before that. The damage was already done".
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atul Kulkarni told NDTV, "We are investigating the case and all angles are being probed."
Three days before Suhas Gokhale walked out of jail, Saket had shared his anguish on Facebook.
"As a helpless and broken son I can only remember my father's words when I met him two days ago. I saw him weeping after a long time and all he kept saying was 'What was my mistake Saket? That I was honest?' I did not have an answer for him."
Describing his father as an officer who served honestly for 30 years and publicly fought against mephedrone, Saket wrote that for his life's work, all he got was "adjournments, ameobic dysentery, a blood pressure of 190 and the loss of 10 kilos of weight."
Saket appealed to his readers: "If your dad is your hero please tell him so. Because we never say it enough. I wish to tell me dad that I love him to bits. I can neither say this to him nor can I hug him. But I want him to know that he's my hero and I will fight for him till the day I breathe my last."
Overwhelmed by the response to his post, Saket has set up a Facebook page to campaign for his father.
"I'd like to state that this fight is not just for my father. This really goes out to all those honest public servants, journalists and whistleblowers around us who are rewarded for their honesty with either persecution, slander and eventually death."