The Chunabhatti police are in trouble for sending off a woman rescued from an alleged flesh trade racket with the informant who is believed to have tipped them off. Barely 20 hours after they allowed the informant, Rikesh Jha, 35, the 20-year-old woman returned to the same police station to file a complaint of rape against Jha.
The police had rescued the women from a flesh trade racket at a spa in Chunabhatti. Pic for representation
The police are now claiming that they sent the rescued woman with the informant in "good faith" and did not expect the turn of events. The police have arrested Jha and are investigating the woman's complaints under Sections 341, 364, 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. Jha is in police custody till July 4.
Criminal lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan said, "In this case, the police should first charge Jha with robbery — because he snatched the complainant's PAN card at the hotel — and kidnapping because he told her he is taking her to meet a police officer and instead took her to the hotel and raped her."
According to sources, Jha, who is said to have helped the local police with several cases, informed Assistant Commissioner Dhanraj Gaikwad late in June that a prostitution ring is being operated out of a spa and salon in Chembur. On June 25, the officer sent a team from Chunabhatti police station to raid the place.
Jha went in as a dummy customer. At his signal, the police team entered the premises, rescued four women and took them to the police station. As the FIR was being registered, Jha allegedly told the senior police officers present that the woman was his source and that she be let off.
The police registered an FIR against the spa owner under the Prevention of Trafficking Act and named only three women, one of whom is the woman's sister. They readily sent the woman with Jha.
"We trusted Jha as such informers help us in cracking big cases in future," said a police officer. The next day, the woman returned to the station, alleging that Jha had raped her immediately after leaving the
She said he took her to a nearby hotel, where he booked a room using her PAN card. Promising to help her sister get off the hook, he raped her and took photos of her.
The complainant said Jha got a call and told her he had to go back to the police station. Before leaving, he threatened the girl that he would get her also booked for prostitution if she told anyone about the assault. According to the woman's complaint, he told her 'Agar kissi ko yeh baatein batayi toh anjam bura hoga. Tere behan ko meine dhande ke case mein fasa diya hai, ab tereko bhi fasa ke sabak sikhauga.'
She said Jha dropped her at the spa on his way to the station. She called a friend and narrated the ordeal. After mustering courage, she went to the station the next day (June 27) and filed the complaint.
The woman told mid-day she was not involved in the sex trade. "I just worked in the spa. I have seen Jha come there a lot of times. He told me at the Chunabhatti police station that if I went with him, he will help my sister get out of the case," she said.
"He then took me to the Chembur police station and then on the pretext of discussing my sister's case, he took me to the hotel. Had the Chunabhatti police done their job in the first case, I would never have gone with him."
When mid-day contacted ACP Chembur Division, Gaikwad, he said, "Rinkesh did not meet me nor has he given me any information." Chunabhatti Senior Police Inspector Sunil Shankar Bhosale said, "I am busy in a family function and I cannot answer your questions."