Shrikant Shinde (centre, in white shirt) with the Dombivli station master
The station master, Railway Police Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police GRP) at the Dombivli railway station seem to have all gambled their way into a controversy, and a possible police case, for failing to shut down gambling dens in the next station premises. In a visit to the station on Thursday, Member of Parliament Shrikant Shinde shut down the illegal gambling parlours and also ordered the FIR against neglectful officials.
For over two months, the Kalyan MP had been receiving complaints about the dens from women and activists from Dombivli. Accordingly, he had asked the station master and police officials a week ago to take action against the video gaming parlours.
Up and running again
But despite Shinde’s intervention, the complaints kept pouring in. “The authorities claimed they had stopped it, but it was running again. So on Thursday, we conducted a raid and seized two of the shops that were running as gambling centres, including online lottery and video parlours,” said Shinde.
One of the gambling dens that was shut down
“The shop was being run next to platform number 1 of Dombivli railway station. Everyday, people returning home would first visit these places and try their luck at losing cash, which ended up becoming an addiction for them,” he added.
Shinde ordered Gauri Prasad Hiremat, senior police inspector of the Dombivli GRP to seal two gambling centres. “The centres are air conditioned and next to the platform, clearly indicating that they were running with the blessings of the station master, RPF and GRP. I have asked for a case to be registered against them and will take a follow up tomorrow to see to it that the guilty are booked and the centres never open again,” said Shinde.
Permits in place
Hiremat said, “We have not registered any case yet and are probing the matter. The gambling centres claim they have permission and have produced a few documents, including [details of] the entertainment tax they pay. They have been given permission by the collector’s office. We will send the letter to the collector’s office tomorrow [Friday] and check whether they have given a license and accordingly, take action against them. We have found that they have a court hearing going on regarding the same.”
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