They said they could not retaliate as the commissioner had sent a circular directing them to restrain themselves while dealing with citizens after the Andheri Police recently got flak for assaulting a young couple
After being in the news for harassing and assaulting citizens, Mumbai Police found itself on the receiving end of similar abuse from a drunk 35-year-old model, who lashed out at cops who took her to Versova police station.
Watch Video: Woman creates scene outside Mumbai police station
Devdutta Banerjee was taken to the police station after she fought with her landlady about the rent for her apartment
Although she went berserk and attacked several officers, including the women, the police simply swallowed the humiliation and did not attempt to retaliate. Late on Friday night, the police control room received a complaint that the model, Devdutta Banerjee was creating a ruckus at the Inlaks Nagar Co-operative Housing Society.
Banerjee was arguing with her landlady about the rent for her apartment when she allegedly began to abuse her and damage property. The landlady, Lata Kodwani, said, “She has been staying in my flat since the last six months. Her behaviour was not good with the other society members. On the day of the incident, when I asked her about the pending rent, she started abusing me. I rang up the control room and the police took her away.”
At first, the nearest patrol team was dispatched to the location to look into the matter, but when the policemen got there, they saw she was heavily inebriated. She began to hurl abuses and threats at them as well. They called for back up, and two other jeeps turned up with yet more cops, including women officers.
However, things got out of hand as they approached Banerjee and asked her to accompany them to the police station. “As we took her to the police station in the jeep, she continued to abuse us. From the back seat, she leaned forward and tried to strangle one of the women officers,” said a cop.
Matters didn’t improve when they reached Versova police station. She continued to hit the cops, and threatened and abused them. “We took her to the police station but she abused us there too. She yelled at on-duty female officers too and after some time, began assaulting us,” recalled another cop, adding that there had been quite a struggle while sending the model for a medical test.
Not a single cop struck back or even tried to restrain her, and at the end of it all, the model was allowed to go home after an FIR was registered. “We did not know what to do, so we rang up our seniors who told us to just register an FIR and let her go, so we did that,” said an officer from Versova police station.
According to one of the policemen, they had held back in fear of action being taken against them, especially considering the public criticism that had hailed on the force earlier this month, after a video emerged of a young couple being manhandled by the Andheri Police.
“After the Andheri incident, the Mumbai Police Commissioner had issued a circular instructing officers to mind their behaviour with citizens. This is why we faced humiliation at the hands of the model. Even though she assaulted us, none of us raised our hands on her,” said the officer.
She was allowed to go home after an FIR was registered under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 427 (mischief) of the IPC.
DCP (Zone XI) Satynarayan Chowdhary confirmed, “We have registered the offence and further inquiries are on.” Despite repeated attempts to contact her, Banerjee refused to comment.
Not the first time
mid-day had reported another such incident when a drunk 25-year-old woman was taken to MIDC police station, where she alternated between abusing the cops and sobbing and asking for their pardon (‘Woman guzzles beer, abuses, threatens cops inside police station’ September 21). She walked out of the police station the next morning with just a Rs 1,200 fine after apologising profusely and even falling at the feet of the officials.
In October, mid-day had run another story about a traffic constable who did nothing as a biker thrashed him in public (‘Biker jumps signal, thrashes traffic cop for pulling him up’, October 8). The constable had said that he was afraid of taking action after three cops were suspended for the Lalbaug incident, in which a female devotee was manhandled by the police after she tried to enter the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati pandal through the VIP entrance in September.