The investigation of the rape case against former state minister Laxman Dhoble, who was booked on Friday by the Borivli police, has now been transferred to the Goregaon police station. The transfer was made after Commissioner Rakesh Maria ordered that the case should be handled by a female Police Inspector (PI).

mid-day had reported on Saturday that the former state Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation was accused of rape by a clerk at Nalanda College of Law (‘Clerk accuses former state minister of rape’, September 13).
Dhoble was a trustee at the same college, and both he and the clerk had been implicated in an admissions scam earlier this year.

The survivor had alleged Dhoble raped her several times between 2011 and 2013 and also blackmailed her with obscene photographs. The allegations were formerly being investigated by Police Sub-Inspector Sobha Kharat, but PI Lata Sirsate of Goregaon police has taken over now.

Not enough female PIs
The transfer of the case has brought a severe lack of female police inspectors to light. After the Commissioner’s order, it emerged that of the seven police stations in Zone XI Borivli, Charkop, MHB, Kandivli, Malad, Bangur Nagar and Goregaon only the last has a female PI.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XI), Balsingh Rajput said, “We were ordered to hand over this case to a lady officer of Police Inspector rank, but in our zone we have only one police inspector, who is at Goregaon. So we transferred the investigation in the case to Lata Sirsate.” Commissioner Maria also conducted a meeting with all investigating officers on Monday to discuss the action to be taken in the case.