A constable attached to Pune rural police demanded a physical relationship from a widow when she went to register a case at Saswad police station last week. The widow had to take the help of local women activists, who then met senior police officers and got the complaint registered at the police station.
Taking cognisance of the matter, the Saswad police arrested constable Maruti Shingade under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code,1860.
According to the police, the complainant is a vegetable vendor and has been running a small shop at Narayanpur village for the last 15 years. She stays with her daughter at the village.
Senior police inspector Sardar Patil of Saswad police station said, “The widow had a fight with another vendor over a petty issue last week. Later, the vendor and her daughter beat up the complainant. As a result, she wanted to lodge a complaint against the vendor and her daughter. When she came to the police station, constable Shingade asked her to come on Thursday to lodge the complaint.”
Patil added that the incident occured when the victim went to the police station.
Patil said, “The woman, in her complaint, alleged that when she went to the police station on Thursday, Shingade asked her to have a physical relationship with him if she wanted to register an FIR at the police station.”
However, Patil claimed that the woman neither met senior officer nor himself. Also, she did not approach the women vigilance officers at the police station. “We have given phone numbers of all senior police officers and women vigilance officers at the police station. If the constable was troubling her, she could have approached us and lodged a complaint, but she did not meet us,” Patil added.
Shingade was arrested on Saturday night from his house and produced before the court on Sunday. Patil said, “Shingade was granted bail on Sunday. We compiled a detailed report on Shingade and sent it to superintendent of police Manoj Lohia on Monday.”
When asked why Shingade was not suspended immediately, Patil said,”The superintendent has the power to suspend a constable.”
DNA/ Sandip Dighe