The curious case involving Baramati municipal council member Sunil Pote and sub-inspector Deepali Shinde is getting more baffling by the day.
It’s worth recalling that the cop, who was nabbed along with a middleman by Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) while accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 on October 5, later lodged a complaint at the local police station, alleging that Pote and his men tried to set her afire on Sunday.
In a fresh twist, Shinde has claimed that the alleged attack on her was a fallout of her inquiry against the councillor’s son in a sexual harassment case. The suspended cop alleged yesterday that she was probing repeated complaints of sexual harassment of female students at TC College in Baramati.
So far, Baramati police has not arrested Pote or any of his accomplices after they were accused of forcibly entering Shinde’s residence and trying to kill her. Sources say a section of officers from Pune (rural) police are of the opinion that Shinde had hatched the conspiracy to settle scores against Pote, as she was suspended from service for demanding bribe from the councillor’s aide.
Shiv Sena state spokesperson Neelam Gorhe, who is backing Shinde, said that the case of bribery would prosecute in court, but police should view this matter independently. Gorhe said that she has requested home minister RR Patil to transfer the case to CID.
“I too have received reports of sexual harassment from female students of TC College. However, the written complaints were without signatures, and so it was tough to trace the victims,” Gorhe said.
She added, “Pote’s is a chequered past. However, instead of taking action against him, police interrogated Shinde and her husband for long hours after the attack.” Gorhe maintained that the female cop could also have been targeted because of her investigations into some long-pending cases in Baramati.
“I am not politicising the issue. But, if a woman lodges such a complaint then police should take cognisance of it. I would also like to appeal to home minister RR Patil to transfer the case to CID for proper investigation,” the Sena leader said.
The amount Deepali Shinde allegedly accepted as bribe, follwing which she was suspended