Mumbai: Gang rape victim dies without justice as cops pass the buck
Even as the nation clamours for justice in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, closer to home, a 15-year-old girl mentally challenged girl, who was gang raped almost a year ago, died while waiting for justice.
The gang rape took place on April 29, 2014 at the Churchgate subway. File pic for representation
Far from investigating the crime, the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Mumbai Police have spent the past 10 months trying to fob the case off on each other, hoping to avoid any blame.
In April last year, a mentally challenged 15-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped by four men in the Churchgate subway. Since then, her case has only gathered dust with cops refusing to take responsibility. Representational pic
On April 29, 2014, the Churchgate GRP got a call from Bhabha Hospital informing them that a 15-year-old mentally disturbed girl was gang raped in the Churchgate subway by four people after they forced her to drink beer. The GRP registered a case under Section 376 (2) (G) (gang rape) of the IPC.
But as the subway falls in the jurisdiction of the Marine Drive police station, a ‘zero FIR’ was registered, which is as good as the case not being registered at all. The papers were then transferred to the Marine Drive police, who did not register an FIR and simply let the file gather dust.
On November 17, 2014, the teenager died of asthma in Nair Hospital, without a single attempt being made to arrest the rapists. More shockingly, with the victim’s death, the two police departments are now at loggerheads again, trying to decide who should dispose of the case.
At first, the Marine Drive police decided that they should dispose of the case. But they realised that eyebrows would be raised when it emerged that they had had the papers for months but neglected to register the case. Earlier this year, on January 10, the Marine Drive police handed the case papers back to the Churchgate GRP, over eight months after the gang rape.
The GRP in turn, was unwilling to take responsibility and sent the papers back to the Marine Drive police. In yet another attempt to pass the buck, the police sent the papers back to the GRP on March 4, while the GRP simply returned the file.
Unbelievably, the Marine Drive police made a third attempt to send the case to the GRP on March 6, and this time, some senior police officers even called the GRP officers asking them to take care of the matter. “The girl died fighting for justice and the Marine Drive police and Churchgate GRP are playing with the papers, transferring them from here to there.
The Marine Drive police wanted to register the FIR but they were never given opportunities by seniors, who were afraid that the case would remain undetected and would add to the list of undetected crimes,” said a senior police officer.
“I have written four times to the department to register an FIR in the matter,” said Krushna Prakash, additional commissioner of police (South Region). He added that he has also written to the local DCP asking why the case hadn’t been registered yet. Meanwhile, the GRP commissioner Dr Ravinder Singhal said, “It’s a serious matter and I will surely look into it.”