Mumbai crime: Activist stripped, beaten for opposing land mafia
In a chilling incident that casts a long shadow on Mumbai’s reputation as a city safe for women, a 33-year-old social activist was stripped nude and beaten up till she fell unconscious by two alleged land grabbers on a busy street in Malwani. The accused even showed up at the hospital where she was recuperating and threatened that they would kill her ‘in a minute’ if she dared to file a complaint.
The woman’s crime: She was trying to help a tea vendor who was being harassed by the duo. Around noon on Sunday, when the victim was walking towards her residence, she was accosted near the Rathodi Gaondevi Mandir in Malwani by the accused, Shashi Dubey and Ahmed, who live in the same locality as her. They began abusing her and threatened to harm her if she did not stop supporting the tea vendor.
A heated argument took place and the duo attacked her and tore her clothes. When she began screaming for help, they brutally assaulted her. She lost consciousness and fell to the ground, but none of the passers-by intervened.
“When I was walking alone, these people suddenly attacked me. They dragged me on the road and started assaulting me. They even stripped me nude, but no man came forward to save a women who was being paraded naked in the streets,” victim told mid-day.
“My sister rushed to me and wrapped me up in a bed sheet. She had brought a few people with her, who screamed at the duo and they beat a hasty retreat. My sister took me to hospital, but these goons reached there as well. In the hospital, they threatened me and said that I would face a nightmare much worse than what had happened if I dared to complain. They said it would take them a minute to end my life,” she added.
The victim was taken to the Malwani police station by local residents and a case was registered against Dubey and Ahmed under Sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 34 (Common intention) of the IPC. They were arrested on Tuesday.
Local residents said Dubey and Ahmed are well known in the area for land grabbing and owned various shanties in Malwani as they had the blessings of local politicians. They said they were targeting the tea vendor because he had not paid them anything before setting up shop in the Ambujwadi area.
Officials from the Malwani police said Dubey and Ahmed also had connections in the BMC and would get the vendor’s shop demolished time and again. The vendor had approached the woman as she is a social activist and she had complained to the relevant authorities, earning the accused’s ire.