Police officers investigating the rape of a 29-year-old model in Sakinaka have learnt that one of the arrested accused, assistant police inspector Sunil Khatpe, allegedly harassed sex-workers when he was posted at the DB Marg police station.
“There are red light areas and brothels in the area. During this tenure there, Khatpe allegedly exploited sex workers in a similar manner. However, the allegations could not be substantiated at that time,” an officer said.
According to sources, many theories are afloat about the reason behind the delay in registering the first information report (FIR) in the model’s rape case.
However, it has now come to the fore that Khapte had sent threat messages to the woman, asking her not to file a complaint, said sources. This is likely to be a major reason behind her not approaching the police immediately, said sources.
“Khatpe texted the survivor several times and asked her to meet him. He also asked her not to register a complaint or discuss the incident with anyone,” a police officer said.
Police say the incident took place on April 3, while the FIR was registered on April 23, only after the model approached the commissioner of police (Mumbai) Rakesh Maria.
Senior police officers said after committing the offence, Khatpe, who was posted at Sakinaka police station during the incident, terrorised the woman to such an extent that she left for her native place without filing a complaint.
Following the threats, the woman’s medical condition worsened and she went to her native place. Before leaving Mumbai, however, she contacted an advocate and on the basis of his instructions, wrote letters to various officials, including the police chief, on April 6.