A police inspector and a constable from Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station, Kurla (west), have been suspended for sexually harassing a woman sub-inspector posted at the same police station for more than eight months.
Police commissioner Arup Patnaik suspended inspector Deepak Mangaonkar, 45, and police constable Ashok Walekar, 46, after the departmental inquiry report submitted on Tuesday by Harvinder Kaur Varich, deputy commissioner of police (protection and security), found the allegations true.
On Wednesday, the police registered an FIR against the duo. The crime branch will now investigate the case.
“The victim has alleged that Mangaonkar harassed her after she rejected his advances and that Walekar helped Mangaonkar harass her. Following the internal enquiry, a case of molestation has been registered against the two officers,” said Vineet Agarwal, additional commissioner of police (central region).
The duo has not yet been arrested, said Agarwal. “They will be called in for questioning.” The incident came to light in March when the 27-year-old woman sub-inspector submitted a written complaint to Patnaik.
The victim cleared the MPSC exam in 2010 and joined the Vinoba Bhave police station in February 2011. It was her first posting and she was on probation, an officer said, on condition of anonymity.
“Mangaonkar started making advances seven to eight months ago. He was in charge of administration at the police station and Walekar was his orderly. Mangaonkar used to allot duty to the station staff and would frequently put the woman sub-inspector on night duty along with him,” the officer said.
The victim has alleged that he would often summon her to his cabin and make her sit there for hours. “He would crack vulgar jokes and make suggestive gestures, and Walekar would join him,” the officer said.
Fed up, the victim first complained to the senior inspector at the police station, who immediately relieved her from night duty. But Mangaonkar didn’t relent.
Late in February, Mangaonkar and Walekar allegedly went to the Nehru Nagar police colony, where the victim lived alone in a flat. “Mangaonkar called her saying he and Walekar were below her building and asked if they could come up,” the officer said.
Uncertain about how she should respond to a senior, the sub-inspector asked them to come up. “Once inside, the duo tried to get physical and molested her,” the officer said.
After this incident, the victim approached Patnaik. The duo was transferred to the police control room pending the inquiry, which was initiated after her complaint. “Following the internal enquiry an FIR was registered on Wednesday. I cannot reveal anything more as the crime branch is investigating the matter,” said Prabhakar Satam, assistant commissioner of police (Kurla division).