Coming out in support of senior IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, who has been accused of rape by a 26-year-old model, the Shiv Sena on Saturday triggered a fresh controversy claiming it has become a “fashion in hi-fi societies to create a flutter by crying rape”.
“What is the background of this model? After having a relationship for so long, how did the rape happen suddenly? Such doubts arise in the minds of people, but strangely not for the police. In this case, the rape complaint was filed six months later. Does it take six months to realise that a rape has occurred?” an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana said on Saturday.
“Cases of charging men with molestation and rape in hi-fi societies to create hype is on a rise now. It has almost become a fashion. After so many years of service in the police force, one model now charges DIG Sunil Paraskar with rape and in one night, he becomes a villain. Such accusations have become good weapons to seek personal revenge,” the editorial says.
“Rape is a brutal thing. However, there are some women who, by exploiting their womenhood, make false accusations, forcing all women to come under the scanner,” it says.
The editorial also took exception to the alleged media trial against Paraskar, who is a DIG-level officer. “In such incidents, truth comes out when it has to. However, the hounding of the accused and the media trial that happens in such cases makes you cringe,” it says.
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Paraskar, a Maharashtrian by birth, had entered the police through the state police service before being elevated to the IPS cadre.
Aditya Thackeray, chief of the Yuva Sena, also weighed in for the officer, saying a media trial should not be carried out.
“The editorial is a comprehensive argument on why ‘rape’, although one of the worst crimes, should be carefully tried in courts, not in the media,” Aditya tweeted. He claimed a media trial in such cases had led to families being broken and people trying to commit suicide.
The Shiv Sena’s stand drew fire from other political parties in the state.
“It is a highly sensitive matter. Political parties should refrain from making statements on such cases,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
Meanwhile, Paraskar refused to undergo a polygraph (lie-detector) test even as the complainant agreed for it.
Advocate Rizwan Merchant, who is representing Paraskar, said Saturday that he had declined to undergo the test on medical grounds. “My client has had a bypass surgery and will have to stop his medication to undergo the test, which is not good for his health. Also, it is a fundamental right of every citizen to not give evidence against himself.”
The complainant’s lawyer, advocate Chitra Salunke, said her client had on Friday offered to undergo the test. “We wrote to the police saying my client would undergo the test as she had nothing to hide. We have received a response from the police Saturday, saying they don’t mind conducting the test on my client if she is willing,” said Salunke.
Following the model’s complaint, Paraskar was booked under IPC Sections 376(2)(rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354 (D) (stalking) at Malwani Police Station on July 23.
The 57-year-old DIG (Protection of Civil Rights Units) is at present posted at Maharashtra Police Headquarters here.
Investigators have identified two places – a bungalow in Madh Island in suburban Mumbai and a flat in neighbouring Navi Mumbai – where the alleged incidents took place.
The DIG, granted interim protection from arrest till August 5 by a court here, has been questioned twice so far.