Ex-society secretary assaults woman who accused him of stealing funds

It was a regular day for Gita Kasturi as she went about her household chores yesterday. But a knock on the door changed it all. Answering it, the 57-year-old woman who is a resident of Dosti Carnation in Antop Hill found Adil Patrawala at her doorstep the former secretary of the housing society, against whom she had earlier lodged a complaint.

Gita Kasturi
Gita Kasturi

A heated argument ensued, at the end of which Kasturi claims Patrawala allegedly assaulted her physically and sexually. Gita and other members of Dosti Carnation had earlier filed a complaint with the Registrar of Cooperative Housing Societies against Patrawala for embezzling society funds for personal use.

Gita Kasturi

After sufficient proof was provided against him, Patrawala was asked to step down from his post on August 8, 2013. However, another court hearing was to be held at noon yesterday to consider reinstating Patrawala and restore him to the secretarial post.

Dosti Carnation
Gita Kasturi, a resident of Dosti Carnation housing society in Antop Hill, shows the scratches she sustained when she was assaulted by the former secretary of the building

Gita claims that since Patrawala knew that she would oppose the move, he assaulted her to make sure she would be unable to attend the hearing. “It was obvious that I would definitely oppose Patrawala’s reinstatement as the secretary. So to make sure that I am unable to attend the hearing and raise my voice against the move, he came to my residence and assaulted me,” alleged Gita.

The assault
At 8.05 am, Patrawala came to Gita’s residence on the first floor of the building and accused her of withholding one of the two documents she had to return to Patrawala. Gita explained that she had returned whatever documents she had and was not hiding anything. This led to the two being involved in a heated argument that lasted close to 10 minutes.

At the end, when Patrawala lost his cool, he grabbed Gita by her hands and assaulted her physically and sexually. It was only when Kasturi began screaming for help that her husband V Kasturi, who was sleeping in the bedroom, ran towards the door. By then, Patrawala had fled.

V Kasturi said, “I was asleep in the bedroom when I heard Gita screaming. I immediately ran towards the main door and saw Patrawala running away. Gita was still in shock and was unable to explain what had happened until a few minutes later.” Gita has scratches on both her hands from the assault.

Gita immediately approached Antop Hill police station to file a complaint, but was first taken to Sion Hospital for a medical check-up where she was declared fit. The scratches on her hands were treated. Kasturi then filed an FIR with the Antop Hill police. Officials from the Antop Hill police station went to Patrawala’s residence to bring him to the police station for questioning, but he was not found at home.

Investigating officer PSI Thakur said, “We have been unable to bring in Patrawala for questioning and to record his statement. An FIR has been filed against Patrawala under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.” Another police official said that more sections could be added against Patrawala, if found relevant.

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