Thirty-six policemen were suspended after an activist caught them on camera allegedly accepting bribes to turn a blind eye to an illegal structure, even as an embarrassed Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh today ordered a departmental inquiry, terming it a "shameful act".
The expos by activist Kasim Khan took the city police by storm with junior cops, mostly constables, attached with the Nehru Nagar police station in suburban Kurla, seen in the video accepting money from him.
"As of now, 36 policemen are suspended. It is a very shameful act. We will not tolerate such acts. Now, we are taking departmental action which will be followed by a legal action soon," Singh told PTI.
The action follows an incriminating video that Khan had recorded at different periods between March 9 and March 26.
Singh, however, observed that the cops could have been "induced" to accept money.
"Going by the video footage and visuals it seems that policemen were induced to accept money," Singh said, adding the Anti-Corruption Bureau will be probing the matter.
"Any police officer indulging in such acts will invite a strict action and it will not be tolerated," he said.
Most of the suspended cops are constables, besides those ranked above from the sub-inspector to inspector level.
Singh said more policemen could also face similar action.
According to Khan, his friend Prakash Nevle was renovating his house at Thakkar Bappa colony in Kurla and policemen of Nehru Nagar wanted money to allow him to proceed with the work after municipal authorities had stopped it for want of necessary clearances.
When Nevle told him about the demand, Khan suggested him to direct those policemen to him. He then installed a spy camera on which he recorded footage of the police personnel accepting bribe.
The activist handed over the footage to the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the concerned zone, who forwarded it to the Commissioner of Police.
The incident comes days after the collapse of an illegal structure at Mumbra in adjoining Thane district which claimed 74 lives and left scores injured.
A massive demolition exercise has been launched in Thane after the collapse, the worst such incident in Maharashtra.