Don't make rape survivors travel with accused: Rakesh Maria

Police Commissioner stated that police stations had been observed taking rape survivors and accused for medical exams in the same vehicles; cops argue they don’t have enough vehicles to follow this order

In a bid to make the police more sensitive in rape cases, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria issued a circular to all police stations warning that strict action will be taken against officers who make rape survivors travel with the accused in the same vehicle during investigations.

Junior cops say say they will need more funds and vehicles to follow the directive. Representation pic
Junior cops say say they will need more funds and vehicles to follow the directive. Representation pic

While this order was issued in good faith, junior cops argued that police stations do not have enough vehicles to ensure the order is followed. The order was issued on February 10 and stated that police stations had been observed taking rape survivors and accused for medical examinations in the same vehicles.

It directed senior police officials to ensure that this mistake is not repeated. Officers who do not follow the directive will have to face strict departmental inquiry. But junior cops protested, saying they will need more funds and vehicles to follow the directive.

“Our superiors issue certain orders and keep asking for follow ups, but they fail to pay attention to the basic needs of the police stations. If they want us to follow their orders obediently then they are suppose to support us financially,” said a police officer requesting anonymity.

He recalled a similar order in the past that demanded a separate room and toilet for women police officials, for which police stations needed additional funds. Another officer said, “They (senior officials) just issue the order and get done with their responsibility.

They keep taking periodical follow-ups, but what about the funds? Should we put in money from our own pockets?” the officer asked. However, Mumbai police spokesperson, DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni said, “Every police station is equipped with six vehicles, and officers cannot make excuses, as such mistakes are unacceptable.”

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