Maharashtra home minister RR Patil on Tuesday admitted in the state legislative council that nine women constables were molested during the Azad Maidan violence in August this year. Two persons were killed and 63 injured in the August 11 riots.
In a written reply to a question raised by Shiv Sena members Neelam Gorhe and Vinayak Raut, the minister refuted the charges that the some of these women constables took the extreme step of committing suicide or quitting the police service.
This is the first time that a minister or a senior government functionary has spoken about the incident. This, especially because, the incident of molestation of the women constables was denied right at the beginning but was mentioned in the charge sheet filed by the police against the accused, a few weeks ago.
The victim women constables even identified four accused in a parade. Even the women's commission conducted an enquiry and submitted a report, which has not yet been made public, so far.
The police have arrested Maulana Ahmed Raza Sheikh, the 32-year old, who had taken permission to hold a rally at Azad Maidan last week. The rally that turned violent, leaving two dead and 93 injured.
According to the minister, the violent mob set afire three vehicles of police and media while five more private vehicles were burnt to ashes. The mob also damaged over 50 buses of BEST, 23 police vehicles and 27 private vehicles during the riot.