Three policemen who allegedly forced a sex worker to perform oral sex in a police control room (PCR) van could go scot-free as, according to a senior official, no criminal action is possible unless the victim is traced.
Superintendent of Police Atmaram Deshpande said no criminal complaint would be registered against head constable Santosh Naik for allegedly having oral sex while two other police constables filmed the act. Naik has been suspended.
"A complaint would be filed only if the woman comes forward and deposes before the enquiry. It could be consensual sex. Otherwise they will be only dealt with departmentally," Deshpande told IANS.
Police claim the sex worker cannot be traced.
Deshpande said forceful oral sex did not amount to rape and only attracts the charge of molestation.
The statement has sparked outrage among women's groups.
"We have written to the director general of police to file a first information report (FIR) against three policemen. A mere departmental enquiry will simply not do. Police are not taking crimes against women seriously," Auda Viegas, convenor of a leading women's rights group Bailancho Manch, told IANS.
It was in February that Naik and two other constables driving a PCR van pulled up next to a sex worker near Calangute beach, pulled her into their official vehicle and allegedly threatened her with arrest if she did not perform oral sex.
The sex act with the head constable was then filmed by one of the constables on a mobile phone camera. The MMS was circulated among the constabulary before the higher-ups in the police got wind of it and started an enquiry.