On January 2, a 26-year-old stage dancer staggered into the Versova police station with her clothes thrown on backwards. She said she had been gang-raped after being drugged by four men in Hyderabad, looted, and then placed in a Mumbai-bound bus while she was still unconscious.
She was also robbed of Rs 17,000, her jewellery and phone
But the cops ignored her pleas for two days. For the next three, the woman, a resident of Andheri (W), was sent hunting for evidence of the crimes she alleged to have survived. It was only yesterday that the police finally registered a case of gang rape against the four unidentified accused, after an NGO intervened in the matter. The NGO believes that a pornography ring is involved in the crime.
As per her complaint, on December 30, her event coordinator told her that she had to dance at a New Year’s Eve show in Hyderabad, for which she would get Rs 1 lakh. On December 31, she flew to the Andhra Pradesh capital, where she was received by four of the event organisers, and taken to a hotel a half-hour’s drive from the airport. She was then asked to freshen up in her room for her performance at 10 that night, offered a cold drink and asked to rest, she said in her statement to the cops.
But two days later, on January 2, she woke up in a luxury bus bound for Borivli, wearing her clothes backwards. There was a bus ticket in the pocket of the coat she had on. She was in pain and could tell she had been raped. She told the bus conductor she wanted to get down in Andheri, and in that very condition, she had come to the police station.
Speaking to MiD DAY, she said, “When I woke up, I saw that my debit cards and all my jewellery and money was missing.” She added, “I suspect the culprits even made a video while gang-raping me, which I fear might be made public and could go viral.” In all, she had been robbed of cash worth Rs 17,000, her ornaments and her cell phone.
She continued, “The police refused to register my complaint that day and the day after when I got my aunt along. That is when we approached an NGO, Janshakti Foundation, whose activist came along with us on Tuesday and registered the complaint,” said the woman.
Jay Singh, the activist from the NGO said, “When the woman approached us and told us her ordeal, we verified all the facts and confirmed the incident. We suspect that a video of the crime has been made and circulated. In Hyderabad, there is huge racket of blue films and we suspect its involvement in the case.
The woman went to Versova police station for two days in a row, but the police did not take note of her complaint and asked her to go to Hyderabad instead. The incident raises serious questions about the working of the Mumbai police and how committed they really are to tackling crimes against woman.”
“We even approached Vishwas Nangre Patil, additional commissioner of police (west region), but he too neglected this very serious offence,” added Singh. When contacted, S Parmale, senior inspector of Versova police station, said that they had registered a case of gang rape and robbery and were forwarding the complaint to the Hyderabad police, since the offence took place there.
“We checked the locations where the woman’s debit card had been used to draw cash, and the places are near the airport. However, we are facing a language problem. We are also figuring out which police station would be appropriate to contact. We will call the woman’s coordinator and the bus conductor for questioning,” said Parmale. He added, “Her ticket to Mumbai was booked by a person named Ismail Shaikh, who we are tracing at present.”