HYDERABAD: The Punjagutta police station — ranked the second best police station in the country by the Quality Council of India and ministry of home affairs — recently figured in the list of police stations where cops collect mamools or protection money. The state government has identified 391 policemen across the state who are allegedly working as mamool collectors. There is an ongoing effort to post them to the headquarters.
The Punjagutta police station is one of the most important in the city, with top commercial establishments such as jewellery stores, star hotels and pubs located in its jurisdiction. Citing an instance, ACP, Punjagutta, Vijay Kumar said that after the name of a home guard figured in the list, he was questioned by the local inspector. “The home guard said he was not involved in any such activity and his rivals could have given false reports. However, as per the instructions, the home guard was attached to headquarters,” the ACP said.
The intelligence department following instructions from Director General of Police M. Mahendar Reddy had mounted surveillance across police stations and divisional offices in the state and identified 391 policemen who were said to be taking bribes. On May 31, this newspaper had reported how the state police had started a clean-up drive and have started attaching “corrupt policemen” to armed reserve headquarters. Personnel at the AR headquarters are usually drafted for bandobast duties and are away from public contact.
The DGP instructed commissioners and superintendents of police to attach the policemen named to the Armed Reserve headquarters. “The list is indicative and not exhaustive. While some have stopped their activities some are still continuing with it. All the CPs and SPs are requested to put an end to the menace of organised collection of mamools at all levels by attaching the concerned to AR headquarters with immediate effect,’ the directions issued read.
Police stations have a head constable or constable to take care of finances. In police parlance, they are called “collectors” or “road masters”. The collector system is an age-old practice in the police and the proceeds, according to police sources seeking anonymity, reached higher officials too. Usually the ‘collector’ takes monthly mamool from wine shops, bars, toddy compounds, scrap yards, hotels and paan shops, police sources said....