Want to evade arrest? Go on a fast. The RAK Marg police in Wadala have reportedly shied away from arresting a man accused of abusing a woman, ever since he claimed that he has been fasting for Paryushan, a Jain festival that lasts for eight days.
Now, the 40-year-old accused is roaming freely in the area, bragging that the police will not dare to arrest him as he is on a fast. “Even with the nation standing up and protesting against the increasing number of crimes against women, Jain has managed to avoid arrest in the past 24 hours. He has been roaming freely in the locality, as cops fear that his arrest during Paryushan may hurt religious sentiments,” said the complainant, who is also a neighbour to the accused, who has been identified as Khemchand Jain (40).
According to the police, Jain and the 36-year old complainant Deepali (name changed) are both residents of Sahakar Nagar in Wadala (West). On Friday, around 10.50 am, Jain forcibly entered Deepali’s flat and abused her, using filthy language.
Following the incident, Deepali dialled 103, the police helpline number for women. The female police officer attending Deepali’s call suggested that she approach the RAK Marg police station to register a complaint. At the station, cops initially refused to register her complaint. After three hours, when the police still hadn’t registered the complaint, she declared she would go on a hunger strike inside the station premises. Around 8 pm, the FIR was finally registered against Jain (40) under Section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
“I approached the police station around 11 am. Top officials refused to register a complaint. I sat on a hunger strike inside police station. Around 8 pm the police finally registered an FIR,” said Deepali. After registering the FIR, the three policemen went to Jain’s home, taking Deepali with them. Finding the police team at his doorstep, Jain told them that they couldn’t arrest him as he had been fasting for the past eight days.
Jain said that if the police dared to arrest him during the fast, he might fall ill, pointing out that it could also lead to his death. Going by what happened afterwards, the cops were thoroughly convinced by this argument. “The policemen were so scared with his threat that they returned without arresting him. Now he is saying that he will seek anticipatory bail as soon as the fast is over, so police cannot arrest him,” said Deepali.
The Other Side
Ravindra Khandagale, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), Matunga division, said “There is no such law that prevents the arrest of an accused during his fast, but I can not comment as I don’t know who you are.” Vilas Wankhede, senior Police Inspector of RAK Marg police station disconnected phone after saying, “I am busy in Ganpati bandobast. Go to the police station and take details.”