Mumbai: Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vasant Dhoble has been transferred out of the Social Service branch of the Mumbai Police. Mr Dhoble will now be the ACP of Vakola division in western suburban Mumbai.
The order was issued last night by the state home ministry. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan while addressing a tourism event had promised that Mumbai will get its night life back and the 'unjust' raids will stop. Sources say Mr Chavan was keen on Mr Dhoble's transfer to instill confidence amongst the patrons.
Last month, Mumbai's new Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh had asked Mr Dhoble to report to the Crime Branch, and not to him directly. Mr Dhoble, who headed the Mumbai Police's Social Service department, reported directly to the previous police commissioner Arup Patnaik.
Mr Dhoble has been accused of implementing archaic laws. Armed often with a hockey stick, a camera, or both, he was found bursting into restaurants and bars and terrorising staff and patrons. This had led to an outrage in Mumbai and many protests were also held. (Read: Who is Vasant Dhoble?)
Mr Dhoble was taken to court by two women, who he arrested on charges of prostitution during one of his infamous raids. The women - sisters - had said they were celebrating a birthday. Mr Dhoble had them arrested for a few hours. They sued him for a crore each. In June this year, the Bombay High Court, however, ruled that Mr Dhoble was just doing his job, and also dismissed a defamation case against him.
While Mr Dhoble has been transferred out, the issue of relooking at archaic laws remains to be addressed by the state government.