After sub-inspector from Jogeshwari police station called the control room saying he was going to shoot himself, senior cops and family members rushed to the police station to persuade him against the drastic step
Jogeshwari police station was still basking in the limelight of busting a bhajiwali who was secretly selling arms to local goons, when a sub-inspector posted there sent the department into a flurry by declaring he was going to shoot himself.
PSI Vilas Sawant called the control room first, and then this reporter, to say he was going to commit suicide since a woman had accused him of sending indecent messages to her. Pic/Nimesh Dave
High drama ensued at the police station, after the PSI called the control room, and then this reporter, explaining that he was going to kill himself since a woman had accused him of sending indecent messages to her. It was only two-and-a-half hours later, after his family and senior cops rushed to persuade him against the drastic step, that he changed his mind.
Just yesterday, PSI Vilas Sawant’s picture had appeared in this paper, along with a story on how his department had arrested a vegetable vendor selling firearms on the side (‘This woman sells potatoes, onions, tomatoes. And guns’). In fact, it was Sawant who had received the tip-off about the errant bhajiwali, after which the Jogeshwari police laid a trap to nab her. Sawant even received several calls congratulating him after the article was published.
As concerned seniors and relatives gathered at the police station, he told them he was being harassed by a woman who had accused him of sending an indecent picture to her on WhatsApp.
“In 2014, I was promoted from constable to sub-inspector. It was then that I had met a woman who runs a motor driving school. She had even helped me with a permit,” he said.
Terming the WhatsApp message a misunderstanding, he said, “I did not know how to operate WhatsApp. I used to send random messages to my friends and family members. While sending group messages, I had sent a few messages to her too.”
One of these messages, sent in June, included a picture of a woman’s bare back. Sawant claimed he had no idea he had sent the message to her as well. “If I had known, I would have apologised instantly. But it was only later that she brought up the message and went on to file a complaint against me,” he added.
According to him, this was simply a ploy for revenge, as she had held a grudge against him since July, when he had charged one of the driving instructors from the woman’s driving school for not carrying necessary documents. The same month, she filed a complaint against him, and an inquiry was launched against Sawant. He said he had even tried to settle the matter, but she demanded R6 lakh. Following this, Sawant filed an extortion complaint against her.
By 3 pm, this reporter reached the police station to find Sawant weeping inconsolably. He had just been informed that the inquiry had started against him, and wanted to commit suicide. “It was by mistake (sic). I did not even know the message had gone to her, otherwise I would have apologised. My whole life has been destroyed. My family will be badly affected. At least they have stood by me,” he said.
With the help of his family, Sawant eventually calmed down, and senior cops reassured him that the matter would be resolved by Monday. Senior PI Pradeep Kale of Jogeshwari police station said, “I got a call from the West region control room that Vilas Sawant had called, saying he was going to commit suicide. I rushed to the police station, where we spoke to him and convinced him not to.”