Colombian woman complains of harassment by cop in Marol during COVID-19 lockdown
The traumatised tourist emails top cop, makes plight viral in video; city NGO offers help
A young woman from the city of Tulua in Colombia (South America), stranded in the city since the lockdown, has emailed a complaint dated April 21 to the Commissioner of Police and the Director-General of Police citing inappropriate messages and harassment by a police official during her stay at a small Marol hotel.
The Columbian woman outlined in her complaint to the top police officers about overtures by a police personnel through chats. She writes that she does not know his name but has given a number from where these messages were sent.
The woman came to Mumbai on February 22 as a tourist and was living in an AirBnB accommodation in Bandra East until March 31. "Since I didn't have any money with me I called up my Embassy in Delhi for help and accordingly one police officer came and checked me into a small lodge in Marol on April 1," said the complainant, adding that the official asked her if she wanted to "drink beer or whiskey to which I
He kept sending her messages on WhatsApp and a couple of times came drunk and "tried to force himself on me after which I pushed him out of the room and cried a lot."
The woman has put down in writing, "He kept saying that since he was paying for the hotel room and my food he was entitled to have a physical relationship with me. Since I did not succumb to his demands he told the hotel to not provide me with food, water or toiletries. I sent a video of mine to my country which went viral."
This viral video came to the notice of the Colombia Embassy in New Delhi after which Mumbai activist Abraham Mathai (president of Harmony Foundation) was informed. He said, "We sent out an email to all embassies stating that if any of their nationals are stranded here, we could offer assistance."
Mathai arranged for her to be shifted to another hotel in Chakala on April 20, with the help of Shirley Singh, director of the hotel. "I feel safe here," the complainant said, adding, "I understand the Mumbai police are very good and helpful and doing a lot in this crisis but I thought I need to bring to your notice the behavior of such black sheep."
'Sister and guest'
Sub-Inspector of Sahar police station A Mohite whose number was cited in the complaint said, "These are false allegations. We all have treated her as a sister and guest. I am an honest officer, in fact, I had given her R1,000 as help. She is creating a story. We should not spoil the name of our country." Manoj Kumar Sharma, Additional Commissioner, West region said, "We have taken cognizance of the email and further inquiries are underway."
This paper contacted Carlos Enrique Pineros Torres, First Secretary from the Embassy of Colombia in New Delhi, but Torres refused to comment saying, "I am not authorised to provide information to the media. I am sorry. Those are the rules and I follow them."
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