Tara Kaushal is still awaiting results from her FIR
Here's the dichotomy of how the Mumbai Cyber Cell perceives and pursues crime. Even as it took immediate suo motu action against comedy collective AIB for just using a Snapchat filter on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has failed to act altogether, despite a formal FIR filed last year by Tara Kaushal, 34, against the online sexual harassment she has faced and received.
Last July, Kaushal, a resident of Juhu, currently working on a project called 'Why Indian Men Rape, had filed an FIR against four men for sending her lewd messages over Facebook. In spite of this, one of the main accused in her complaint - Hadimani TF - has continued attempting to contact her till as recently as May 29. So did the FIR yield any result? Kaushal says vehemently: "Not at all. Although you hear stories about how lax law enforcement in the country is, you don't expect it to be this bad. While the police was very polite in dealing with me, nothing ever came of my complaint. Except that three months later, the police came home and said they had lost my complaint and if I could please resubmit. I did. Nothing ever happened again. I've also been tweeting at the Mumbai Police all day today (Monday), and there has been no response. I guess prompt responses are reserved for AIB and beef-eating."
Not a first time offender
But, here's what should have made the cops' job easier - Hadimani is not a first-time offender. When he was a cartoonist with a Kannada daily back in 2013, Hadimani was arrested by the Ashok Nagar police for, again, allegedly harassing a woman. "He's an easy case because all of his information, including address and phone number, is available in the public domain and I have already sent it to the police," said Kaushal.
She elaborates: "Due to my research, I am aware that there has to be a two-pronged approach to gender violence issues. A) People should be dissuaded from wanting to do certain things and B) They should be aware that there is swift enforcement of the law if they do break it. It has been proven, time and again, that Indian law enforcement is deeply lacking," adding, "I am aware of my privilege. If this is what happened to me, despite the media coverage, I can just imagine what happens to less empowered people."
Senior inspector of Juhu police station, Sunil Rajaram Ghosalkar, said, "I will need to speak to the officer in-charge of the case to see what investigation has been carried out so far." He pointed out that while the investigating officer belonged to Juhu police station, 'he takes technical help from the Cyber Cell," adding, "I will have to see the kind of information he obtained from the Cyber Cell."
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