'Cops asked me to withdraw complaint to get stolen chain back'
Vasai resident alleges that Dahisar police, to whom he had complained after a couple of eunuchs stole his gold chain on the Western Express Highway last month, are protecting the accused
It's usually criminals who hold people to ransom, but this Vasai resident was taken aback when he was subjected to similar treatment by the Dahisar police. After he was robbed of his gold chain, the 33-year-old had gone to the police station to file a complaint, after which the police had even recovered the jewellery.
Mitesh Chhatbar alleged that the police told him to withdraw his complaint and instead file a statement saying that he had found the chain in his own car
But to his dismay, when he went to collect the chain, the police allegedly told him he would first have to withdraw his complaint. Mitesh Chhatbar was returning home from Malad in his car on August 8, when he stopped on the Western Express Highway at Dahisar to drop his friend.
According to him, two eunuchs forced their way into the car and asked him to drop them a little ahead. “They told me to drop them a little ahead and started touching me inappropriately. I was shocked and extremely uncomfortable. I told them to get down immediately, but they insisted that I drop them off at the signal ahead.
I was helpless and did as they asked, while they kept touching me. When they got down, I was shocked to find that my chain had been stolen,” Chhatbar recalled. On the suggestion of one of his friends, Rajiv Singal, Chhatbar went to Dahisar police station.
“Initially they refused to file an FIR. In fact, one of the cops suggested I had gone to the eunuchs myself for pleasure; it was humiliating,” he alleged. The police filed an FIR on August 18, under Sections 420 (cheating) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.
On August 23, Chhatbar got a call informing him that the police had already recovered his chain. “I got a call from Dahisar Police that my property had been recovered. I was taken to the first floor of the police station, where an inspector in plainclothes showed me the gold chain. My friend (Singal) was also there.
I verified that the chain was mine, but the inspector told me that since they cannot arrest the eunuchs, I would have to withdraw the case if I wanted my chain back,” said Chhatbar. Chhatbar then learnt that he would need a court order to recover his chain.
He procured the relevant document from Borivli court number 26, and returned to the police station. The police told him that they had not been able to find the eunuchs who had stolen his chain. “I was shocked when the same inspector claimed the property had never even been found.
Then, on a confidential basis, he told me that the court documents wouldn’t work as the accused hadn’t been arrested. He told me that I would get my chain back if I took back my complaint,” Chhatbar said. He added, “I was further shocked when the cop told that I should give a statement that I found the chain in my car itself, while I was washing it.”
“The police department gets lots of inputs and help from the eunuch community. There are prime informants for us and help us crack several cases,” said a police officer from Dahisar police station, suggesting this may be why the department was dragging its feet on taking action against the accused.
Additional Commissioner of Police Fateh Singh Patil remained unavailable for comment despite attempts to reach him. Chhatbar, however, is convinced that the police are protecting the accused.
“The cops know the accused but are not arresting them,” he alleged, adding, “This is what happens when an honest and common man goes to the police station. I won’t take back the case as it is a genuine case and such incidents are on the rise on the Western Express Highway.”