At a time when women’s safety, or the lack of it, continues to make headlines and is being discussed at street corners across the country, a 20-year-old Malad resident has come forward with a narrative that once again lays bare the largely insensitive outlook of the men in khaki. According to Damanjeet Kaur Grewal, who is studying in St Andrews College Bandra, she may have been the sole witness to the abduction of a schoolgirl by two men, but thanks to the negligent attitude of a few cops, the kid’s fate remains unclear so far.
“The event unfolded in Andheri on Thursday evening. At the time, I was standing outside a restaurant with my friends, waiting for a table. Parked nearby was a police combat vehicle, in anticipation of a food parcel. Suddenly a silver-coloured Santro drove up the last digits on the licence plate were either 5774 or 5764. Two men, in their twenties were settled at the front, with music blaring. In the backseat was a seven to 8-year-old girl, crying inconsolably. She was in her school uniform,” said Grewal.
She added, “I got suspicious, ran up to the combat vehicle, and told the four constables inside what I had seen. I urged them to chase the car, but the cops displayed a complete lack of interest. They told me to go home and said that they will alert the local police themselves. They said that they had just ordered Chinese food and couldn’t leave the spot. I stayed there a little while, but noticed that the constables didn’t even relay a message over the wireless. So, I started tweeting about the matter.
Many people came to know of this in the following hours. A local resident Afzal went to the police station to lodge a complaint, but the cops said only the witness (I) could do that. They called me late at night, and at 7 in the morning a few other people and I went to Oshiwara police station to register a complaint.”
“I read Grewal’s tweet, contacted the police commissioner and other top cops to tell them about the apathetic attitude of their personnel. One of the higher officials assured me that an internal inquiry would be conducted and if the constables are found to be guilty they’ll be punished,” said Preeti Sharma, member of Aam Aadmi Party.
Following this, cops have started scanning the city for cases of missing schoolgirls and have sent an alert to all police stations. DCP of Zone IX Cherring Dorje said, “An inquiry has been initiated in the matter and the guilty will be taken to task. We don’t know if this is a case of kidnapping. But we’ll find out the truth. If the concerned cops are found to be at fault in our probe they won’t be spared.”
MiD DAY managed to speak to the four constables who claimed that Grewal had not given them any details regarding the colour or licence plate of the car, because of which they couldn’t relay a message over the wireless. Rebutting this, Grewal said, “Let them utter this to my face. I told them everything I saw. Agreed, I don’t know whether or not this is a case of abduction, but the police have to investigate. It’s the only way to find out the truth.
Daman grewal?@damangrewal silver santro no 5774 or 5674 if found plz stop it or tell cops. 2 drunk men wid a little school girl are in there. Plz help.#Mumbai