Mumbai Crime: Cyber-bullying victim catches culprit while cops drag their feet

Updated: Nov 22, 2017, 09:44 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Dissatisfied with the slow progress in her case, woman carries out parallel probe, only to find out cops concocted a story about catching the accused

Frustrated with the slow progress in her 2015 cyber-bullying case, Alka Dixit (name changed) decided to take up investigations into it herself. And her endeavour bore fruit. Accusing the cyber police of a lackadaisical approach and concealing facts, Dixit decided to appeal to the State Information Commissioner Ajit Kumar Jain, where she argued her case and got an order in her favour on Monday. The order directs the cyber police to furnish all the information in the case by November 27 and a submission of compliance to SIC by November 30.

A fake Facebook account was made in the name of the woman from her personal gmail ID in 2015. Representation pic
A fake Facebook account was made in the name of the woman from her personal gmail ID in 2015. Representation pic

Dixit said, “It has now been two years since the FIR was registered. If the complainant has to go through the motions of RTI and seek enforcement of an order passed in her favour by State Information Commission (SIC), then the system has failed the victim who speaks up. This is an abuse of the Mumbai Police's own directives which say the complainant has to be kept informed about the progress of the investigation. A disciplinary inquiry is called for in
this case.”

Fighting since 2015
Dixit has been fighting the case - where her Gmail account was hacked to make a fake Facebook profile - since 2015. mid-day had reported about the same on November 28, 2015 in '8 years after sexual harassment at work, MNC honcho now being cyber bullied'. Back then, Dixit had registered a case with the Cyber Police station at BKC. But the shoddy inquiry into by them compelled her to carry out her own parallel probe. She sought information from the investigating officers under RTI in December 2016, but two of her applications went unanswered. After this, she finally wrote a letter to the state home secretary, seeking intervention.

Also read: 8 years after sexual harassment at work, MNC honcho now being cyber-bullied

She moved her first SIC appeal in January this year, and with no reply to the same, she moved a second one in February. Interestingly on March 23 an order was passed, asking the cyber police to submit all the information sought under RTI. Dixit added, “It was surprising that the cyber police were not adhering to the SIC order, that was passed in March. So I had no option but to write to the Commissioner of Police, on April 29.”

“The very next day, the cyber police sent their reply stating that only 29 cases had been registered with them in 2015 and for reasons best known to the police, there was no mention of my cyber bullying case in which an FIR had been lodged on November 21, 2015,” she said. Not satisfied with the reply, Dixit demanded an inspection of the crime register maintained by the cyber police and on June 20 this year, she was allowed access. To her surprise, there was 282 FIRs related to cyber offences registered in 2015 as opposed to the mere 29 cases stated in their RTI reply. She insisted on a copy in compliance with the SIC order, which was not given.

Tall claims
According to Dixit, the cyber police, who were initially not even willing to share the call data details, sometime in March 2016, got a story planted in a national newspaper, claiming they'd found the impersonator – one Mohit Kumar Marothi – who made Dixit's Facebook account and went to arrest him in Rajasthan. There, a mob, a police inspector and even a Rajasthan government bureaucrat stopped them from taking Marothi to Mumbai. But they brought him here – subsequently releasing him on bail –despite all the 'odds'.

Also read: Mumbai: Accused of cyber-bullying, 16-year-old commits suicide

The truth
When Dixit met superior officers at the cyber police station on April 14, 2016, requesting them show the identity proof, bail bond copy and photograph of the arrested accused, cops rejected her request saying it was not in her right to seek the information as the original complainant.

On April 19 2016, Dixit then filed an RTI with the Bikaner police, who promptly replied on May 17, 2016, categorically denying the claims in the news report. As evidence they attached the station dairy of Nokha police station in Bikaner, showing visit of API Ramesh Gaud from cyber police with his colleague between March 11, 2016 and March 14, 2016.

However, the Mumbai police did not mention any law and order problem during their stay. They have also stated that the Mumbai team recovered a cell phone and when they expressed their desire to take Marothi to Mumbai, his lawyer intervened saying it is a bailable offence. The Mumbai police team agreed and only handed over the notice asking to be present in Mumbai on March 19, 2016.

No chargesheet either
Dixit is aghast with the fact that two years after the complaint, the cyber police haven't filed the chargesheet in the case, which otherwise is mandatory within 90 days of registering the FIR. Dixit is now keen to find out if any accused was ever arrested in her case or whether it was another story concocted by the cyber police.

The other side
When deputy commissioner of police (cyber crime) Akbar Pathan was asked about Dixit's case, he said, “I will not be able to make any comment without going through the papers.” Ravi Sardesai, senior inspector cyber police station was unavailable for comment.


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