From making no diary entry in the police station when they left for a raid at a suburban hotel to detaining a woman in a police chowky after nightfall, the three policemen arrested in relation to the alleged rape of a 29-year-old model in a beat chowky in Sakinaka in the wee hours of April 3 also face action for violating a host of rules of the police procedure.
Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sunil Khatpe, API Suresh Suryavanshi and police constable Yogesh Ponde, all with the Sakinaka police station, picked up the victim from outside a hotel on Andheri-Kurla road around 12.50 am. They accused her of soliciting and took her to the Sangharsh Nagar Beat Chowky No. 1, where they allegedly extorted money and valuables from her. Khatpe is alleged to have sexually assaulted her.
Mumbai Police Crime Branch officers investigating the case said several key police procedures were ignored and rules violated when the victim was picked up and taken to the police chowky.
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For starters, Section 46 (4) of the Criminal Procedure Code prohibits the arrest of a woman after sunset and before sunrise, except in exceptional circumstances, in which case the arrest can be done by a woman police officer, and even then only after obtaining prior permission from a magistrate.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said the accused policemen not only violated the rule, they did not even ensure that a female officer or constable was present, a mandatory requirement during the detention of any woman. One of the co-accused, a woman who is allegedly their informant, posed as a female constable during the supposed raid.
“There is no entry in the station diary of the police station about the team leaving for any such raid. Further, policemen are required to use a police vehicle attached to the police station while conducting such a raid,” said Kulkarni.
The only action in line with the police procedure on the night of the alleged incident was the imposition of a fine on the victim under Section 110 of the Maharashta Police Act. She was also given a receipt for the same. Ironically, the record of this action ultimately worked against the trio, as the receipt established on paper that the victim was indeed picked up.
“We will go through the records and find the exact reason specified for imposing the fine on the victim. If the charges are found to be falsified or lacking in legal grounds, action will also be taken against the trio accordingly,” said Kulkarni.
Inspector Sunil Khatpe (34) In charge of the Sangharsh Nagar Chowky of the Sakinaka police, where the alleged sexual abuse and extortion took place. Khatpe was leading the raid and,
according to the victim, sexually abused her twice.
Inspector Suresh Suryavanshi (36) Detection Officer at the Sakinaka police station. He allegedly accompanied Khatpe and participated in the raid.
Yogesh Ponde (36) posted with the Sakinaka police station. He allegedly came with Suryavanshi and was part of the raid.
Ibrahim Khan alias Immu (42) Journalist with a local publication and police informant who allegedly provided the tip-off that led to the raid.
Ayesha Malvia (24) A Dahisar resident and police informer who allegedly posed as a female police constable when the raid was conducted.
Javed Sheikh (35) Police informer considered close to API Khatpe. He allegedly posed as a cop and visited the hotel earlier in the day to check if a raid could be conducted.
Tanveer Hashmi (34) Police informer considered close to the two arrested API rank police officers. He allegedly accompanied Sheikh at the hotel to check if a raid could be carried out.
Sanjay Ranga (34) Police informer, close to Javed, who allegedly participated in the raid.