A 30-year-old woman, who alleged she was a victim of road rage, had a tough time getting a police complaint registered because she was shunted between two police stations.
The victim, Janice Pearl D’Souza, said she did even not get any help from the much-publicised special helpline for women and children, 103, launched a few months ago.
All this, despite a circular issued by commissioner of police Sanjeev Dayal in August, about how to deal with women complainants. Dayal had instructed police stations to maintain a logbook for women visiting the police station.
The incident occurred at 9.30am on Monday when D’Souza was driving to Saki Vihar near Powai for a meeting. Near Holy Trinity Church, an Indica allegedly overtook her in a rash manner, damaging the bumper of her car.
D’Souza, a corporate trainer, stopped the driver and confronted him. “He got abusive and threatened to beat me,” D’Souza told the Hindustan Times.
“He then hit me on my face. He would have hit me more if an old gentleman had not stopped him.”
She managed to click photographs of the Indica driver using her mobile phone.
Janice proceeded for her meeting but when she started experiencing severe pain in her left ear, she decided to go to the police. “I went to Powai police station at around 5pm and narrated the incident. They were very nice and heard me but told me that the place where the incident took place did not come under their jurisdiction,” she said. “They directed me to Park Site police station.” The law says a police station should register a complaint even if the incident has not occurred in its jurisdiction.
The Park Site police insisted that D’Souza first get a medical check-up.
“The police station is in a slum-dominated area and it was late. I was alone and scared so I left and returned home,” D’Souza said.
She called 103 on Tuesday morning. “They directed me to go to the police station. When I told them I had already done that, they said they can’t help beyond that,” she said.
Senior police inspector at Powai police station, Ashok Jadhav, said he was unaware of the matter and would look into it. Senior inspector of Park Site police station, LM Bhure, was unavailable for comment. Dayal sought details of the incident and said he would look into it.
The assault has left D’Souza with blood clots in her ear and what medical tests have described as a “traumatic perforation” in her eardrum.