Tag Archives: police

the wise old man was right?

I tried to make sense but I could not, I tried to process the recent events but I could not so I apologize to the Khap Panchayat leader on whose logic i had once laughed- when he said that western culture is leading to rape, when he said that men might take ages to be civil so women should be more careful, when he said that wearing jeans, getting education, travelling alone can cause rape, too much TV and late marriage is leading to rape….Everything he said seems right when i see what is happening around me.

He was a wise old man, too many wrinkles and a lot of smoke from his hooka, but he perhaps had understood the inbuilt flaw of our society- the fact that we accept( allow and encourage) men to be aggressive, violent and disrespectful. We have raised a society that accepts men to be aggressive, who play the role of either the oppressor or the protector (the cases of rape on men are either never reported) and sadly rape is looked down upon only because it seems like an insult to the woman’s honor and hence a proof of the lack of protection by the male chaperons. Which is why the Social stigma of being a rape victim much more than the stigma of a wife beating husband or a roadside harasser?

Many times police is asked why our cities are not safe, i am waiting for an office to tell them that cities are safer than homes, schools, buses also most of the rape cases are not reported and are done by some one the victim knows or trusts. Police has no mechanism to stop rape before it happens and the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ clause can not make them arrest every man who ever whistled at a woman as a ‘probable rapist’. Most importantly police can not enter you house to see if the females are being raped, they can not check each bus on the roads, they can defiantly not see if there is marital rape. NO one can and hence the only tool in the hands of the state is the have a strong law and ensure implementation. How tragic would the life of a rape victim be who has to see her culprits for years and years as they are released for lack of evidence and whom she sees once every few months in courts for years and years.

As crude as it sounds, Media likes news about rape, everyone had many opinions and every person wants to hear about it. The anchors are fighting over the details and needless to say the law (which has punishment for media if a rape/acid attack/social outcast victim is named or identified ) is forgotten in the race to have one 20 second exclusive. When leading papers talk of death sentence for the guilty, one wonders if they are speaking of a solution or of creating a barbaric entertainment set up which ensures TRPs and a continuation of aggression. Also sadly a very small minority sees rape as an exploitation of the woman’s sexuality and dignity, its more of ‘she is killed while she is still alive’….i wonder if rape by itself kills the victim or the culprit, who had a fall from humanity and brutally hurt another being.

Its not something a parents thinks of when his or her boy leaves home…If he would be bullied and harassed (PLease lets not call it eve teasing), If he would have to hear lewd remarks about his body, If he would be seeing inappropriate gestures or worse if he would be raped. These concerns are reserved for the girls and this concern leads to the notion that father and brother must play the ‘protector’ role thereby reinforcing the notion that protection can come from within the family, community or neighborhood.

Since times immemorial all mothers, aunts, elder sisters tell girls how to try and avoid trouble but when will fathers, uncles and elder brothers tell boys that they better not be the kind of person that tarnishes the family honor, until then people will have to find solace in the wise old man’s explanation.

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police lacks apathy, society lacks what???

MUMBAI: The recent acid attack on a 22 year old woman at a crowded railway station, by a man who had allegedly attacked her twice before, has raised questions over police apathy in dealing with cases of harassment as much as safety. “This is the third time that she has been attacked, earlier she was attacked on the face, with a small knife.

After the first attack we moved from Malwani to Nallasopara to feel safer,” Seema Thakur, mother of the victim said. On Wednesday Railway police arrested a 25 year old man, her former land lord for throwing acid on her face. The victim, presently at Singhvi hospital has been provided police protection, however her earlier attempts to book a complaint went in vain. “I don’t know why the police did not register a case when we approached them earlier…her doctors are confident that she will recover but the family will always be scared,” the petrified mother said.

“Incident such as an acid attack does not emerge suddenly; negative feelings repressed over a long time finally result into something so hurtful. So why does the police and society refuse to act when it can be stopped, before it ruins a woman’s identity?” asked Shirin Juwaley, who survived an acid attack by her husband in 1998. While Juwaley regards Mumbai as ‘safe for women’ she adds that ‘mindsets are very unsafe’, “We are socially conditioned to accept that men can eve tease or harass women and the only time we address the issue is when something shocking happens. The police also does not feel the need to address the issue unless a women is traumatised enough to make it to the headlines,” said Juwaley who currently runs an NGO, Palash, to help women in similar situations and helps victims of disfigurement.

Expressing shock over police inaction Soniya Gill, secretary Maharashtra All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) said, “Why did the police wait to act until the woman was attacked with acid, how could the earlier attacks with blades not be registered?…Police must be asked why it did not do anything when the girl approached them on two previous occasions?” While officials at Malwani police station refused to speak on the issue, the railway police very proudly claimed that adequate measures were in place to ensure safety of women passengers, “There are extra constables in each local train compartment from 8:30 pm till 6 am, helpline numbers are written everywhere so that in case of a problem there is a quick response,” said Ankush Shinde, DCP, Railway police, western railways. “In the recent case the victim was not in the train but at the platform- a very crowded area. Even then the police quickly rushed her to the hospital and later helped in the arrest by CCTV footage,” he added.

“I see thousands of women rushing to work and back everyday, if this were not a safe city how they could be so free? There might be few stray cases but we can not question the safety of women all together,” Pramodini Balaram Matre, homeguard at the Mumbai Central railway station said rejecting the notion that there is any safety concern for women in Mumbai. However the Mumbai police cut a sorry figure in providing data for cases of attacks on women, “There are very few cases of such attacks that are actually reported because in most cases the attacker is a known person,” spokes person of Mumbai Police said.

The victims however recall each detail of the treatment given by police, “I was burned and completely disfigured but when I asked the police to file a case against my husband and his brother, I was asked to forgive, forget and reconcile,” said Sneha Jawale. Ms Jawale was harassed for dowry and in 1997 she was doused with kerosene oil and burned. “How much security can you have, if you are attacked in your house by your husband and the police refuse to register a case what can security do then? she questioned. “It was not until our divorce proceedings that the incident was recorded, before that the police simply refused to acknowledge it.” Today Sneha Jawale is a successful astrologer and writes dialogues for Marathi films and TV serials.

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alister pereria surrendered- sent back home

MUMBAI: Despite surrendering to the court after Supreme Court cancelled his bail, Alister Pereira was sent home by the local police and courts on Monday as a certified copy of the apex court order was not available.

“After he surrendered at Khar police station where the FIR against him was registered originally, he was taken to the session’s court,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Pratap Dighavkar said. Following a day of confusion during which he was taken from Khar Police station to Sessions court in Sewri and many intermediate stops he finally reached the Khar police station from where he went back to his house on Carter Road.

“We have not received the copy of the Supreme Court order and hence, even though, he surrendered, we did not arrest him. He will be taken into custody as soon as we receive the court’s order and he will then be sent to jail,” Mr Dighavkar added. The police said Pereira would be informed once the court order was received and he would have to surrender before the court.

Seven people were killed and eight others injured after Pereira, driving under the influence of alcohol, lost control over his car and ran over labourers sleeping by the road side in November 2006. The Supreme Court, on January 12, had ordered Pereira to surrender immediately and serve the remainder of his jail sentence.

Noting that a three-year term in prison is too meagre a punishment for running his car over seven lives in a drunken spree, the Supreme Court, on January 12, had ordered Pereira to surrender immediately and serve the remainder of his jail sentence. The Supreme Court concurred with the Bombay High Court’s verdict holding him guilty for the offence added that the sentence could not be enhanced as Maharashtra government did not challenge it.

The trial court sentenced him to six months’ simple imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh for ‘rash and negligent driving’ (Section 304 A of IPC). Following a public furore on the quantum of punishment, the Bombay High Court in 2007 took suo motu cognisance of the case and raised the punishment to three years, convicting him under culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Pereira, who has spent only two months in jail so far, approached the SC against the High Court verdict where his bail plea was cancelled. (Eom)

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Mumbai police:short on staff, not spirit

MUMBAI: Shocking data, released by Praja foundation, about city’s police force bring to light the struggles of an understaffed and overworked force that caters a population of over 1,24 Crore. A voluntary organization collected information about the number of police personnel and cases in the city over the last three years and stated that despite a 19 per cent shortage in police staff the overall increase in crime rate (2008-2011) at four percent.

According to the data, collected through RTI applications, the city with a population of over 1.24 crores is guarded by over 33,000 police men, which is 19 per cent less than the sanctioned police force. Also while the over all crime has increased by four percent only many crimes have increased like traffic accidents (80 per cent), molestation (47 per cent), chain snatching (35 per cent), and house breaking (24 per cent).

“Despite a shortage of over 8,000 men the work of police is commendable and we appeal to the government to ensure that the pressure on police especially in the control room and traffic which are falling short by 49 per cent each must be taken care of,” Mr Nitai Mehta, managing trustee of Praja Foundation said. Praja Foundation has drafted a petition to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra asking for Police Reforms.

The gap in number of sanctioned and working Assistant Police Inspectors (33 per cent) and Police Sub Inspectors (52 per cent) is very alarming as they are the ones who enforce law and investigate matters at the grass root level. “No doubt shortage of staff adds to job pressure but we can not correlate crime with the gap. The increase in crime has more to do with the general rise in population, unemployment, social unrest, criminal activities etc,” Mumbai Police spokesperson Nisar Tamboli said. Foundation has collected data of the FIRs filed in the 93 police stations and various other departments. Certain department like control rooms have 272 police men sanctioned but only 140 are employed in the Control Room, a shortfall of 49 per cent.

There is a gap of 2964 (14 per cent) officers in the police stations; Traffic Police is short staffed by 1633 personnel (gap of 49per cent) and traffic related accident in the past three years have gone up by 80 per cent. There might be correlation between rising crimes in the city against dwindling police personnel but tragedy is that Maharashtra State Government has failed to recruit police personnel even after having sanctioned the need for an additional 7984 officers, Mr Mehra added.

Even more alarming is the gap in the number of sanctioned & working Assistant Police Inspectors (API) and Police Sub Inspectors (PSI). The gap for API is 33 per cent, while PSI shortfall is 52 per cent. These officers play a very crucial role for enforcing law and order at the grassroots level. They are the ones who investigate crime and are the backbone of enforcing law. Combined together the number of these officers is less by 48per cent.

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Arms seized at Mumbai railway station

MUMBAI: Mumbai Crime Branch arrested one person and recovered15 pistols, 24 magazines and 11 rounds of 7.65 mm from Ghatkopar Railway station on Sunday night.

“Twenty seven year old Ritesh Laalji Singh alias Sonu is a notorious arms dealer who has been supplying weapons to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar earlier. The police had received information regarding this deal over two months ago and on Sunday night the seventh unit of crime branch intercepted information and trapped Sonu to recover a bag full of pistols and ammunition,” Himanshu Roy, Joint Commissioner (Crime) Mumbai Police said while addressing the media on Monday. 

According to police the brand new pistols of excellent quality, bearing Czech and American markings were wrapped in newspaper and artificial cotton. After interrogation Sonu revealed that he purchased the pistols from Motihaari in Bihar and reached Mumbai by Mahanagari Express from Varanasi the same day and was to deliver the arms to his associates to be further sold in Mumbai to the highest bidder.
Mumbai Police has seized over 80 weapons in this year, “It is certain that weapons were being delivered for a specific buyer or order and the upcoming BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation)  elections do raise an alarm however until further interrogation we can not be sure of any connections. Arms could have been brought for a specific gang or underworld, whatever may be the source, quantity has saved many lives,” Mr. Roy added. 

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