The 30-year-old hairstylist who was punched, kicked and molested by a police constable in Andheri (East) on Monday night said she did not know the identity of her attacker at the time of the assault and was shocked to learn later that he was a policeman.
She also revealed that the confrontation began when he called her an “item”. “I have not left my home today as my whole body is aching,” she said.
The woman said she was heading to her home in Marol around 8pm when the halted the auto-rickshaw she was in and attacked her. The constable, 29-year-old Pravin Nalavade from Andheri police station, has been arrested and charged with assault and molestation.
“He kicked and punched me while many people simply watched. It was only when I started to cry that some people came forward. A woman police constable was among those who helped me. She took my phone and telephoned the police control room,” the woman told Hindustan Times on Tuesday. The woman constable lives in the same building as Nalavade at Marol police camp, the woman said.
She added that it took an hour for a police van to arrive at the spot. “The police reached at 9pm. The man was hurling abuses at me and was confident that he would get away. He told me that he was a policeman and that I could do whatever I wanted,” she said. “He told me, ‘Item hi toh bola hai’ (I only called you ‘item’). He was telling me to click his picture and do whatever I wanted and even threatened people who were trying to help me,” she added.
Her brother said, “The police are meant to keep law and order but this constable did the opposite. We have learned that he has been suspended in the past. Strict action should be taken against him.”
Nalavade’s neighbours at the Marol police camp said he had a drinking problem and often made a nuisance of himself. “He joined the force after his father, who was also a policeman, died. His mother worried about his drinking problem as he quarreled frequently, even with family members. He may have fallen into bad company,” said a neighbour, who did not wish to be named.