Mumbai cop suspended for letting rape-accused doc escape
A police sub inspector was suspended on Friday for letting Dr Rustom Soonawala, 44, accused of raping a patient, escape while being escorted to the police station last month.
According to the Khar police, the 26-year-old victim, a Ghatkopar resident, alleged that Dr Soonawala raped her when she visited him for tuberculosis treatment at his clinic on Carter Road, Bandra (West), on May 17.
After a case was registered, sub inspector Sharad Darade, who was a probationary officer, and a constable identified only as Patil, went to arrest the accused from his Dadar residence at around 10am on May 18.
Dr Soonawala requested the policemen to allow him to reach the police station in his car along with his two sisters. While PSI Darade sat in the car with them, the constable followed in a cab. When the vehicle reached Dadar TT, Soonawala slowed his car, opened the door and pretended to get out, police said. Assuming he was trying to escape, Darade got off to catch him, but Soonawala turned on the central lock and fled.
As the victim alleged the policemen had facilitated the doctor’s escape, an inquiry was ordered and after a negative report was submitted against Darade, he was transferred to the police control room at west region office in Bandra. On Friday, he was suspended and a departmental inquiry was initiated against him.
"It was because of the officer’s negligence that Dr Soonawala could escape. He should not have allowed Soonawala to use his own car. He also told the media about the episode, and hence breached official secrecy," said a senior official from the west region.
An official said the police will also probe the role of senior officials of the Khar police to see if they had worked in connivance with Dr Soonawala and facilitated his escape.