Rattled by the DCP-level inquiry ordered into the lapses that may have allowed the abduction and rape of a 14-year-old girl from Charkop, the Borivli police chose to deflect blame and cast aspersions on the victim’s character.
“The girl was having a love affair with Khanolkar [the main accused] and she had wilfully gone with him to Goa. She was not forced to accompany the accused,” Bhagwan Chate, senior inspector with the Borivli police station said on Thursday.
After being brought in from Goa on Tuesday where they held the girl captive, the two accused, Manish Khanolkar, 24, and Kalpesh Parmar, 26, were handed over to Borivli police. The girl was sent for a medical examination while the two men were remanded to police custody. The Borivli police later recorded the statement of the girl to know the circumstances leading to the kidnapping.
Chate's disclosure, which came after the girl recorded her statement, is at variance with the findings of the crime branch, which briefly spoke to the girl following her rescue. The crime branch's findings suggest that the girl was brutalised by the two accused and forced into going with them to Goa.
Dismissing any legal implications of Chate's claim, senior criminal lawyer Ashok Mundargi said that the law does not treat consent of a child (girl less than 16 years of age) as 'consent'. “It is for the trial court and not the police to take this aspect into consideration,” he said.
Meanwhile, joint commissioner of police, law and order, Rajnish Seth, told HT on Thursday that the detailed inquiry ordered into the incident would harp primarily on two aspects. First, if the Borivli police erred by not booking the duo under proper sections when the girl complained against them two days before the abduction. And secondly, if the police showed adequate urgency alacrity in tracing the girl after she was abducted. “If the officers concerned are found guilty in either of the complaints, stern action would be initiated,” Seth said.
(With inputs from Little Yadav and Kanchan Chaudhari)