Hinjewadi police abandon duty, force victim to wait for four hours, refuse to lodge FIR
A young woman working with an information technology (IT) company was made to wait for four hours for filing a molestation case at the Hinjewadi police station. The Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissionerate was commissioned on August 15 and a month later, a shocking tale of dysfunction, abuse and impunity has come to the fore.
The Hinjewadi police station did not register the first information report (FIR) despite having overwhelming evidence in connection with the case. The incident has left the Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissioner RK Padmanabhan red-faced as the incident was pointed out to him during a special media interaction on Tuesday afternoon.
The commissioner was briefing mediapersons on how he plans to bring down the response time, when he apprised that the victim was made to wait for four hours at the police station. Padmanabhan admitted to the lapse and has ordered strict action. An assistant police inspector has been reprimanded and transferred to the control room for the incident.
In the molestation case, a youth had illegally entered a ladies hostel where the IT employee stayed and molested her in the wee hours on September 9 when she returned from work. According to police officials, the woman had returned to her room around 4 am and her roommate had asked her to wash clothes as the washing machine would be used by other women in the hostel. The complainant was going to wash the clothes, when a man who had trespassed into the hostel, groped and molested her. She raised an alarm following which he fled.
“When the footage of the CCTVs installed inside the hostel was checked, a blurred image of the man was seen. However, he was clearly captured by CCTV cameras installed at an adjacent building. A shopkeeper immediately identified him as a man who often came to his shop. They informed the local police station, but the molestation case was still not registered. The erring policemen asked the shopkeeper and other persons to inform them when the accused came. The following day when they saw the accused, the police were informed, but cops asked the residents to nab the accused. As cops didn’t come, the accused fled. Later, when the woman went to the police station to lodge the complaint, she was made to wait for four hours and even then, a proper FIR was not registered except for a trespassing charge. On the other hand, the cops at the police station started advising the complainant of various dos and don’ts. The cops had also harassed the hostel owner and allegedly terrorised and assaulted him. The incident came to light when the woman sent a legal notice through her lawyer to my office and I read her complaint,” said Padmanabhan.
The officer added that the incident has maligned the image of the department and strict action will be taken against the concerned inspector. When contacted, DCP Namrata Patil informed, “An FIR has been registered against the accused person. We are also conducting an enquiry against the erring police officer for not acting on the woman’s complaint on time.”
Survey of all ladies hostels, paying guests
The police commissioner said that a survey of all the ladies hostels and paying guests (PG) accommodations, is being done so that security guidelines can be issued to them. The police stations does not have such details.
‘Meet CP if police stations not registering cases’
Commissioner Padmanabhan has appealed to residents that they can come and meet him if their grievances are not resolved by the local police stations and other senior officers. There is a register at his office in which they can write their details and they will get call from the police commissioner later, if he is not office, he said. Padmanabhan pulled up his staffers when pointed out that they were not allowing the victims in different cases to meet the police commissioner.