It may be a bit of a sweeping statement, but sensitivity has never been the strong suit of police personnel in this country. Yesterday, inspector (crime) Chandrakant Bhosale attached to Bhosari police station added fuel to fire by passing objectionable comments when politicians and representatives of the media besieged him, demanding strict action against the offenders in the gang rape of a mentally challenged woman. Bhosale who earlier refused to give information about the arrests made in the case, shockingly stated that all the people gathered were there ‘to get masala’, mocking the journalists, female activists and political leaders who had congregated at the police station.
Shiv Sena councillor from Nigadi Sulbha Ubale too expressed shock at the tactless remarks made by the cop. “The comments made by PI Bhosale show the insensitivity of police personnel handling cases of violence against women.” NCP leader Vrushali Vadekar too articulated her astonishment. “Police have failed to detect the Kasarwadi rape and murder case of a minor girl, who was dumped on the railway tracks a few months ago, and now they are ridiculing our genuine concern,” she said.
After an uproar, senior inspector Suresh Kenkane intervened and apologised for his subordinate’s irresponsible utterance. Dr Anil Roy, medical officer of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), said the thirty-year-old woman staying at a shelter home run by an NGO on the outskirts of Pune was admitted to Bhosari Hospital on August 26 after she complained cold and fever.
Dr Roy told MiD DAY that the lady was referred to YashvantraoChavan Memorial Hospital for a CT scan after her attendant mentioned that the patient was also suffering from epilepsy. “However, on August 31 another representative of the NGO approached Bhosari Hospital authorities claiming that the patients admitted there are sexually abused. After this, Bhosari police approached us and a complaint was registered against two suspects in connection with alleged rape of the woman,” he said.
According to Bhosari Police, around 8 pm on Thursday, ward boy Shailesh Jadhav (39) and security guard Pramod Mandekar (28), both residents of Bhosari called the patient pretending that the nurse had asked for her and raped her in the lift. While confirming the incident, one of the employees of the hospital claimed that he had seen Jadhav roaming in the institute on the day of incident even when the latter was not on duty.
Bhosari police officials said that they came to know about the episode after the rehabilitation officer at the shelter home approached them. Inspector Suresh Kenkane said that the two accused were arrested on August 31 under sections 376(D) and 109 of the Indian Penal Code. Both the persons were produced before the Morawadi sessions court and were awarded four days of police custody. “We are trying to accumulate all the possible evidence to make a watertight case,” Kenkane said.
‘Where was the attendant?’
Speaking to MiD DAY, Anjali Pawar, director of Sakhee, raised questions about the nature of the rape case at a civic-run hospital that was reported after two days:
>> If an attendant was with the woman, how was she left alone when the ward boy asked her to go with him?
>> If the attendant was accompanying the woman, why did the incident go unnoticed for two days?
>> If the episode occurred in the attendant’s absence, was she not trained well enough to perform her duties?
When contacted, Jyoti Pathania, director of the NGO in question, refused to comment on the incident.