Rising cases of crime against woman is a big concern in Noida. But what is perhaps of greater concern is the way the police handle these cases. The arrest and subsequent release of an eight-month pregnant woman is a case in point.
Police claim Lata, wife of the prime suspect in a case of loot, was arrested because she was also party to the crime. Senior police officers claimed that she was part of the conspiracy plotted by her husband, Neetu Gujjar, in looting Rs 12.57 lakh from a petrol pump cashier on April 23.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Praveen Kumar said she was arrested and later let off after she complained of labour pain. But SP (rural area) Ashok Kumar said, "We never arrested or detained her. She had come to us to meet her father, who is being interrogated by the police. We only took her to the hospital."
But this is not the first and probably not the last case of bungling of crime involving women. The Noida police, to its discredit, has a number of such cases. The irresponsible comments regarding the moral character of murdered teenager Arushi Talwar landed then Meerut Range IG Gurdarshan Singh in trouble. He had claimed that Ashok Talwar, Arushi's father, murdered her when he saw the teen in an “objectionable position” with Hemraj, the domestic help. But the Noida police did not learn a lesson even after the transfer of Singh.
In a recent gangrape case, which came to light on February 26, not only did the police delayed registration an FIR, they also disclosed the victim's identity. The police contradicted family version, saying the victims knew the accused well and consumed alcohol willingly before being raped. The investigating officer in the case was caught on camera in April assassinating the character of the victim.
Rupa Gupta, president of the Mahila Shakti Samajik Samiti, said, "As long as the police are not sensitised to cases of crime involving women, nothing is going to change. Their attitude has to change."
"Women are discouraged from pursuing cases and are held responsible for crimes against them,” she added.