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BMC clean-up marshals charged with stalking

Almost 10 days after a woman posted a video of two BMC clean-up marshals on a social networking site, who allegedly misbehaved with her, she approached the cops and lodged a complaint against the duo on Tuesday. The Bangur Nagar police have booked the two men Ketan Talekar and Atul Thinghe under Section 354 and 354-D of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The men are one of the first to be charged under Section 354-D in the city.

Ketan Talekar and Atul Thinghe
The accused, Ketan Talekar and Atul Thinghe, two BMC clean-up marshals, were arrested by the police on Tuesday

Section 354-D (stalking) was added as an offence in the IPC after the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 was recently amended, following the uproar after the Delhi gang rape incident. Any person convicted under this new section is liable for imprisonment of not less than a year and it may also extend to three years and shall also be liable for a fine.

Mustering courage
“On Tuesday afternoon, we received a call from the woman saying she wanted to register an FIR,” said PSI Gaurakhnath Ghadge, from the Bangur Nagar police station. The cops then met the woman to record her statement after which the duo was arrested. They were presented before the Borivli court on Wednesday, after which they were remanded in a one-day police custody. “Last week, we did not have any evidence or complainant against the two men, so we had to release them after recording their statements. We arrested them after the woman came forward and lodged a complaint against them,” added Ghadge.

Dirty marshals
On August 31, the accused allegedly chased the woman who was travelling in an auto rickshaw, and harassed her in Malad. The woman secretly filmed them. She then posted the video content on Facebook. After the video went viral, the Bangur Nagar police detained the duo after identifying them from the social networking site.

The cops then contacted the woman, but she developed cold feet and backed out saying that she was scared, as the men could attack her. The cops had to let the accused go. They, however, recorded the statements of the men wherein they claimed that they had fined an auto rickshaw driver for urinating on the public road.

Did you know?
Section 354-D (stalking) was added as an offence in the Indian Penal Code after the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 was recently amended, following the uproar after the Delhi gang rape incident. Any person convicted under this new section is liable for imprisonment of not less than a year and it may also extend to three years and shall also be liable for a fine.

What the Law says Section 354-D states:

1) Whoever follows a person and contacts, or attempts to contact such person to foster personal interaction repeatedly, despite a clear indication of disinterest by such person, or whoever monitors the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, or watches or spies on a person in a manner that results in a fear of violence or serious alarm or distress in the mind of such person, or interferes with the mental peace of such person, commits the offence of stalking

2) Whoever commits the offence of stalking shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine 

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