The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ribeiro sees more worms crawl

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 3: Former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro today said the arrest of more officers in the multi-crore stamp paper scam cannot be ruled out.

Expressing shock over the arrest of former Mumbai police commissioner Ranjit Singh Sharma, the former supercop said it has exposed the deep rot in the police force.

Sharma was held on Monday — a day after his retirement from the post of additional director-general of police — under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act for his role in the stamp paper scam, masterminded by Abdul Karim Telgi.

“Sharma was a competent man. But he was obviously corrupt. Though I feel really sorry for Sharma, it’s good that he has been arrested. I won’t be surprised if more heads roll in the coming days,” said Ribeiro, who has been a neighbour of the disgraced top cop in Mumbai.

Ribeiro, who currently heads anti-piracy operations of the Indian Music Industries, is in Orissa to sensitise the state police about piracy in the music industry.

Blaming the political establishment for the malaise plaguing the police force, the former commissioner said he has heard rumours about officials of the rank of sub-inspector and inspector auctioning top police posts.

“The morale of the police force in Mumbai and elsewhere would surely take a severe beating.”

“But now everyone says it openly. If I hear it from 10 different people, then obviously such allegations can’t be impossible,” said Ribeiro, whose name was being considered for heading the special investigation team probing the scam.

Ribeiro claimed that he has never allowed any political interference during his tenure as Mumbai police commissioner. “Vaghal had a very bad reputation. When Vaghal was appointed the joint commissioner of police (crime), even sub-inspectors wondered how such a corrupt officer can be given such a posting.”

Ribeiro said the rot can be stemmed to a great extent if the recommendations of the National Police Commission are implemented. The commission headed by former bureaucrat Dharma Vira has been in cold storage for years.

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