‘Inflammatory’ poem by cop: Inquiry ordered

Violence

After drawing flak for an inspector's poem calling the August 11 Azad Maidan rioters 'traitors' and 'snakes' and suggesting that they should have been shot and their hands chopped off, the Mumbai Police has initiated an inquiry into how the inflammatory piece was published in the force's monthly newsletter Samvaad. According to senior officers, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh will be heading the inquiry.

The poem was authored by inspector Sujata Patil, attached to Matunga traffic police, and she will be questioned by the inquiry committee. Patil could not be reached for comment.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) Hemant Nagrale, the publisher and chief editor of Samvaad, said, "I have said whatever I had to and the rest is up to the inquiry committee. I can't disclose the members on the inquiry team."

Nagrale said Patil did not intend to write the poem to offend anyone and that the next issue of the bulletin will be carrying her apology. The bulletin is internally circulated across police stations and special units in the city, and usually carries literary pieces as well as write-ups and photographs highlighting the achievements of policemen and their family members.

Some officers hinted that Patil might face suspension. However, others said the responsibility for the gaffe should lie with the editor.

"The poem should have been screened, and should not have been carried in the first place. It would be wrong to penalise the author after it was allowed to be published," said a senior police officer.

Some social activists and lawyers have said they will approach the Bombay High Court and file a petition against the publisher and the author. A delegation of Muslim activists will meet Singh on Monday to demand action against Patil.

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