NGO claims maid subjected to strip search by cops on suspicion of theft

Jul 27, 2012, 08:28 IST | A Correspondent

An NGO working for domestic helps in the city is up in arms against officials from the Deccan Police station for allegedly beating a domestic maid and her husband on suspicion of their involvement in a recent theft at a flat on Bhandarkar Road.

Convener of Molkarin Sanghatana Medha Thatte claimed that the couple was brought to the police station for questioning on Wednesday afternoon. She alleged that the maid was made to take off her saree. The Deccan police officials rubbished the allegations levelled against them. Officials said they were only conducting a body search and reports of them beating the couple are untrue. Thatte said the police officials picked up the couple from their hutment in Wadarwadi slums on Wednesday afternoon for their alleged involvement in the theft that took place at a flat in Neha Avenue on Bhandarkar Road. 

The victim said a team comprising two lady constables and a policeman had grilled her and her husband at the police station. “The police officials asked the victim to take off her saree and beat her up. They also threatened the victim to confess her role in the crime,” Thatte said.

“The victim does not work in the flat where the theft occurred. The police claimed they picked her as they had found broken pieces of a green bangle at the crime scene and that the victim had worn similar bangles in her left hand, and this made their suspicion grew stronger against her. A majority of domestic maids wear glass bangles. Does that mean all of them are connected with the case?”

The police officials said the victim’s husband is a watchman at Neha Avenue and was on leave when the theft occurred.  Thatte said the police officials had even claimed that they had recovered CCTV footage proving the maid’s involvement in the crime. “When we approached them on Thursday morning demanding them to show us the grab, they kept mum,” Thatte said yesterday.

Senior Police Inspector Manohar Joshi of the Deccan police station said, “I did not tell them that we had CCTV footage, for sure. I only told them that I shall share the footage if we recovered it. We have received an application from them, and we will conduct inquiry and do the needful.” 

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