A day after Hindustan Times reported the sexual harassment of a 20-year-old student by a taxi driver outside her college in south Mumbai and the subsequent police apathy, the Gamdevi police station on Friday initiated an internal inquiry against sub inspector Nitin Mahadik for not filing an FIR and watering down the victim’s complaint.
“I have appointed a team of two senior officers to investigate the incident. They will prepare a report on what transpired after the victim gave her statement to the police, and whether Mahadik manipulated details of the complaint, as alleged. The report should be available to me by Saturday evening,” said senior inspector Pradip Lonandkar of Gamdevi police station.
Irsar Ahmed Ali Khan, a 35-year-old resident of Tardeo, was taken to the police station on Thursday morning for passing lewd remarks after the victim did not pay him more than the usual fare. However, instead of fling an FIR and booking Khan under section 509 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, Mahadik registered a bailable and non-cognisable offence under section 504 (breach of peace) and let him off with a Rs1,200 fine.
The police have said that the victim’s statement will be recorded again. “If a wrong complaint has been filed, it is important that the statement is rerecorded. However, we have not been able to get in touch with her as she is not taking calls,” Lonandkar said. A police team was sent to the victim’s college on Saturday afternoon, but could not trace her. “The teachers tried calling her as well, but she did not answer the phone. They said that she is scared after the incident and that they will deal with the issue on Monday,” the senior inspector said.
The police said that the driver will be traced soon. “We have Khan’s residential address, his contact number and the taxi number. As soon as the internal inquiry is completed and the victim’s statement is recorded again, we will begin efforts to find him,” said Lonandkar.