At least 22 prominent residents of Mumbai, including two politicians from the NCP, which runs the police department, owe as much as Rs. 43.21 lakhs to the Mumbai police for security. One of the NCP politicians, noted criminal lawyer Majid Memon, tops the list. Apart from the security cover that the police have to provide certain VIPs, the force gives protection, on demand, to people who face threats. This cover may be provided for a specific time period and these individuals have to pay for this security. The police have prepared a list of 22 persons – builders, businessmen, politicians, and film personalities – whose security dues crossed Rs. 43 lakh in December 2009. The amounts owed by the various individuals under protection range from Rs. 2,835 to Rs. 15.83 lakh. Some of these dues have been pending since 1999. Noted Criminal Lawyer Majid Memon, a general secretary of the NCP owes Rs. 15.83 lakh and Prasad Lad, an NCP official owes Rs. 90,710. Two other politicians on the list are Ajay Choudhary, a Shiv Sena District Chief, and Arafat Shaikh, a Vice-President of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Sena’s Choudhary owes the police Rs. 2, 48, 698 while MNS’s Shaikh is still to pay Rs. 1, 83, 176. Though the protection and security branch of the city police sends notices to all the defaulters from time to time, it has received no response so far. But the police say non-payment of bills cannot be grounds for them to withdraw the security cover. The security cover can be withdrawn only if it is misused. With bureau inputs, Nilofar Shaikh for NMTV News.
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