Cops refuse to file 15-yr-old's rape complaint, thrash her brother instead
While the city’s police force is admittedly dependent on its vast and extensive network of informants, the same dependence, ironically, led them to shirk their duty of fighting crime in the city, recently.
According to the survivor’s family, cops at Goregaon police station thrashed her brother. File pic
In a case of gross police negligence, it has emerged that it took 10 days for the family of a rape survivor to wheedle the Goregaon police into filing an FIR – all because the accused turned out to be a valuable police informer.
The survivor’s family has alleged that the Goregaon police not only ignored their complaints, but assaulted the young woman’s brother when they pursued the matter and insisted on lodging a complaint.
It was only after an NGO sought the intervention of an ACP that the 30-year-old man, who also happens to be the survivor’s brother-in-law, was booked by the Goregaon police.
The accused had allegedly threatened the survivor that he would divorce and kill her sister - his wife - if she refused to enter into a physical relationship with him.
The case raises serious questions about the ability or intent of the Mumbai police to deliver on Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria’s claims that the safety of women would not be compromised, under any circumstances.
About a month back, the accused accosted the survivor - his 15-year-old sister-in-law - and threatened her that he would divorce her sister and kill them both, if she did not have sexual relations with him.
He raped her on two different occasions - the first time inside her room, when no one was around. The second time, he forced himself on her in his shanty, just a stone’s throw away from her room.
One day, the 15-year-old happened to be playing on another sister’s mobile phone, when the accused called on the number. The two exchanged a few words and the teenager hung up, after which the accused texted back the words ‘I love you’ to her on the phone. The survivor has four sisters.
Surprised by the message, the sibling who owned the phone demanded an explanation from the teenager, and learnt, with rising alarm, what had happened.
With her younger sister in tow, she immediately made her way to the police station. But as soon as she uttered the name of the accused, the cops at the station started showing signs of hesitation. Both sisters were subsequently thrown out of the police station.
They kept returning, however, and on their third visit 10 days later, a non-cognisable complaint (NC) was filed. The police, not stopping at mere apathy, even tried to protect their informer, and told him that a complaint had been lodged against him.
Learning about this on Saturday, the accused arranged for the survivor’s brother to be called to the police station, where he picked a fight with him. The cops allegedly thrashed the survivor’s brother brutally.
The survivor’s sister eventually approached local social worker Usman Solanki, and with his help, managed to get the Goregaon police to register the FIR, at the ACP’s directive.
The sibling who helped file the FIR told mid-day: “We went to the police station twice to file an FIR, but the police did not help us. On our third visit, they registered an NC. Finally we approached an NGO, which helped us file an FIR.”
Speaking to mid-day, the survivor said: “I had been silent for the past month because each time, my brother-in-law would threaten to divorce my sister and kill her. I was scared and so did not share what was happening with anyone.”
The other side
“We have registered an FIR, and investigations are on,” said Sunil Wadke, senior police inspector from Goregaon police station. “I am not aware of police negligence in this case. I will check, and if necessary, I will take action,” said ACP Uttam Khairmude.