A police constable who was allegedly drunk assaulted and molested a 30-year-old woman, a hairstylist, on Monday night near Pallodi church on Marol-Maroshi road, Andheri (East). The woman said she was heading to her home in Marol around 8pm when the constable halted the auto she was in and attacked her. The constable has been identified as Pravin Nalavade (29) from Andheri police station.
“I was returning home from my college at Kalina in an auto when the policeman walked up to me with two others and used a derogatory word. I was taken aback and replied to his comment, upon which he pulled me out of the rickshaw and began assaulting me,” said the woman, who is also pursuing a master’s course from Mumbai University.
The woman said the auto driver fled to protect himself and the constable assaulted her for a few minutes before a woman and two men on bikes stepped in and rescued her. “After he used the derogatory word and I protested, my auto driver initially tried to step in, but eventually fled. The constable punched me in the face and stomach. There were many onlookers but nobody stepped in stop them until a woman and two bikers arrived much later and put an end to it,” she said. According to another witness, several people gathered at the spot but only watched the assault.
B Mahadeshwar, senior police inspector at Powai police station, said, “The constable was on foot when the autorickshaw came in front of him while taking a sharp turn. This led to an altercation between him and the woman. The woman says he was under the influence of alcohol and we are verifying this.”
The police were in process of registering an FIR late on Monday night. The constable will be charged sections 354 (assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult and provocation for breaking public peace) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 85 (drunk and for disorderly behavior) of the Maharashtra Prohibition Act.
According to a source, the constable was hired after the death of his father earlier this year. He has been a resident of Marol police camp for the past five years.