While resort owners in Vasai and Virar go up in arms against Assistant Police Inspector (API) Priyatma Muthe, the locals in the area are in full support of their “hero”. These resorts, most of them illegal, have been mushrooming along the Arabian Sea coast. Much to the chagrin of their owners, Muthe has implemented severe strictures against them. Reportedly, the resort owners have been approaching the higher echelons of power to get her transferred.
Locals, meanwhile, have rallied around Muthe, claiming that ever since she got posted in their area, the crime rate has dropped drastically.“Before her posting in our jurisdiction, the crime rate was on a rise. She changed the scenario by implementing strict rules against resort and bar owners,” said Rafique Patel, a resident of Arnala.
Muthe even cracked down on prostitution rackets running with the connivance of these resort owners in the area, where violence is quite commonplace. “She is the lady Dabangg of our area,” said one Sunaina Salvi, a resident of Agashi near Virar. She added, “These illegal resorts do not maintain a register of the guests, who mainly comprise of young adults who want to have a good time. They are charged on hourly basis. Most resorts are just dens for gambling, prostitution and other vices.”
Derek Fernandes, a social activist, said, “Resort owners are trying to level false allegations against Muthe. They even tried to get her transferred by complaining about her to thehigherauthorities.Butwewillmeetthesenior cops soon to explain the situation to them.” “These resort owners bully police officials, as they run several illegal businesses and often resort to violence,” he added.
API Muthe, meanwhile, confirmed that allegations have been levelled against her by some resort owners, but refused to comment on it further.
When contacted, Anil Kumbhare,District Superintendent of Police (DSP), Thane Rural, said, “It is our job to keep a check on crimes and illegal activities. We will not succumb to pressure from any quarter. In fact, my personnel get threats from bar owners on a regular basis. They even run illegal ladies bars, which double up as prostitution rackets, dotting the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway. But we continue with our raids against them.”