With not a single arrest in the molestation of policewomen during the Azad Maidan violence so far, the police are now checking if any of the 55 arrested accused were involved in the August 11 incident.
Two people had died and 63 had suffered injuries when the protest meet organised by Raza Academy to condemn the atrocities committed against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar turned violent. During the violence, some of the women police officials and constables were molested and attacked by the mob. Some of them also suffered sharp wounds and fractures.
A senior official of the crime branch said that their priority now is to arrest those who were involved in the molestation. “We are getting in touch with informers who could provide us with leads. We will also verify if those arrested for the violence were involved in the molestation,” said a crime branch official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Taking the sensitivity of the case into account, the crime branch has formed a special squad comprising women police officials and staff to record the statements of the victims. With not much video footage available, the police are relying on the victims’ statements and description. The police are also getting the description of the accused from the victims. Some of the arrested accused could be paraded before the victims for identification. According to the law, in a molestation case, the accused can be arrested based on the victim’s statement.
So far, the Mumbai crime branch has arrested 58 accused in the case, of which three have been discharged for want of evidence. The remaining 55 include the two accused who desecrated the Amar Jawan Jyoti and one who stole the self-loading rifle (SLR).
The police are also looking for those who stole the second SLR and a police pistol during the attack. Along with the guns, 10 rounds of pistol and 150 SLR rounds were stolen. So far, 79 of the SLR rounds have been recovered from different areas.