Mumbai: Cops refuse to arrest goons as they live in 'dangerous' area
Two days after a fashion designer and her fiancé were attacked by 12 drunken goons in Aram Nagar, the Versova police finally got its act together and registered the case.
Pia Grace says if the police are too scared to go inside Joseph Patel wadi, she will go inside with her female colleagues and nab the culprits
The police had earlier only registered a non-cognisable complaint in the incident in which the men had allegedly passed lewd comments against the designer, and later thrashed her fiancé and her when they protested. The incident had occurred on Friday night, when fashion designer Pia Grace and her fiancé Rahul Bawankule were leaving Grace’s studio in Aram Nagar.
Twelve men, allegedly drunk, were sitting outside the office and passed lewd comments directed at Grace. When the couple protested, the men beat them up. In fact, when Grace called the police control room for help, she was told to “hold on to them while police arrived.”
Despite the duo turning up in tattered clothes at Versova police station, the cops there only registered a non-cognisable offence, saying they “had no time.” Cops finally registered a first information report (FIR) yesterday.
However, no arrests have been made even though Grace has categorically told the cops that she can recognise at least one of her attackers immediately.
This is because police are too scared to go to Joseph Patel wadi, the slum pocket behind Grace’s studio where the goons reside. According to police insiders, Versova cops feel the area is too dangerous and “that anything could happen if they go in with only with 3-4 people.”
Sources said a larger force is needed to venture inside and arrest the accused. Grace, however, has no such inhibitions. The designer has stated that if police keep shuffling their feet, she herself will go to Joseph Patel wadi along with her women colleagues to catch the culprits. “I will never forget the attitude of Mumbai police in my life.
We weren’t even able to stand properly, but the on-duty police officers only registered an NC after almost three hours. I asked them to register an FIR, but the officers repeatedly said they didn’t have time. I will go inside Joseph Patel wadi if cops do not arrest them within two days,” Grace told mid-day.
The case has been registered under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 334 (voluntarily causing hurt on provocation), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 34 (common intention) and 506 (ii) of the Indian Penal Code.
Police sources said an inquiry would be initiated against the on-duty officer at Versova police station, and the control-room cop who answered the call on the 100 helpline that night.
Police Inspector Vinay Kulkarni, from Versova police station, said, “We have done the spot panchnama and registered an FIR against 10-12 unidentified miscreants. We have activated our informer network to collect the details about the goons. No arrest has been made so far, but they will be arrested soon.”