The Goregaon (East) police station, where a woman arrested for cheating a businessman from Dahisar committed suicide on Friday, does not have a single woman constable.
The suicide could have been averted if the police station had the minimum number of sanctioned women constables — five — said police officers.
A woman constable from the Dindoshi police station had to be deputed to the Goregaon (E) police station after Swapna Salvi (28) was arrested.
Salvi was kept on the second floor of the police station building with the woman constable.
Salvi allegedly hanged herself around 9.30 am when the constable took a break after finishing her 12 hours of duty.
“The woman constable was deputed to our police station as we do not have a woman constable in our staff,” said an officer of Goregaon (E) police station, requesting anonymity for lack of authorisation to talk to the media.
“It was a difficult situation for the woman constable as she did not have anybody to relieve her. Even for basic necessities like drinking water or attending to nature’s call, she had no option but to leave the accused alone.”
Salvi was well behaved and threw no tantrums at night.
“In the morning, Salvi was happy and chatty, had tea with the constable and sought breakfast. After her duty hours, the constable stepped out for 10 minutes to make a call to her home to enquire about her sick son,” said a Crime Branch officer investigating the case.
“There was nothing conspicuous in Salvi’s behaviour that could have given an inkling to the constable that she would take some drastic step,” the officer added.
The Crime Branch is yet to give clean chit to the officials at the Goregaon (East) police station. “We will continue to inquire with all those present in the police station to find out if Salvi was tortured or ill-treated,” added the Crime Branch officer.
The city police are conducting a parallel investigation.
“The assistant commissioner of police attached with the Dindoshi division has been appointed to take up disciplinary inquiry. He would be investigating whether there was negligence on part of the police station staff. If anybody was found guilty, action would be taken them,” said Ramrao Pawar, additional commissioner of police (north region).