Cops record witnesses’ statements in ‘molestation’ case against AAP activist

The police officers said that the offence allegedly occurred in April this year in suburban Oshiwara, ahead of the LS elections.

| Mumbai | Published: September 22, 2014 2:31:46 am

The Oshiwara police have started recording the statements of the Aam Aadmi Party  workers in a case where a 21-year-old has filed a criminal complaint against AAP leader Mayank Gandhi and six others.

While AAP activist Tarun Singh was booked under sections 354 (a) (sexual harassment), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, Gandhi and four others were booked for abetting the crime, a police officer at Oshiwara police station said. The woman had given a written complaint in April 2014 based on which the FIR was filed.

The police officers said that the offence allegedly occurred in April this year in suburban Oshiwara, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“We are at present recording the statements of the witnesses who had tagged along with the 21-year-old woman, when the incident took place. After this, we would call Gandhi to record his statement,” said Subhash Vele, senior police inspector, Oshiwara police station.

According to the officers,  the victim alleged that she had brought to Gandhi’s notice the sexual advancements of some party workers, but he did not pay heed to them. Hence, she approached the local police and registered an FIR on Saturday.

AAP members told the police that the Aam Aadmi Party totally ‘decries’ the attempts to malign the character of Gandhi on completely unfounded and baseless allegations.

According to the members, during the election campaign, Gandhi was approached by the woman volunteer from his constituency with a complaint of harassment by a male colleague. A press release by AAP said that without going into any details of the case, Gandhi suspended the male volunteer immediately and then connected the woman to Preeti Sharma Menon, member of AAP’s National Committee on Sexual Harassment. Menon had a brief conversation with the woman and asked her to file a police complaint. “Menon mentioned the case to the National Committee on Sexual Harassment and then asked the Maharashtra State Grievance Redressal

Committee to conduct an inquiry  which was under progress. However, she turned the harassment case into a molestation case and filed a complaint,” the press release said.

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