Volunteer denies naming AAP leader Mayank in harassment case
A female volunteer of Aam Aadmi Party, who has lodged a sexual harassment case against AAP's expelled activist Tarun Singh, on Monday asked city police to drop the names of party leader Mayank Gandhi and two others from the FIR even as the probe was transferred to Crime Branch.
Mumbai: A female volunteer of Aam Aadmi Party, who has lodged a sexual harassment case against AAP's expelled activist Tarun Singh, on Monday asked city police to drop the names of party leader Mayank Gandhi and two others from the FIR even as the probe was transferred to Crime Branch.
The volunteer wrote a letter to Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, seeking removal of the names of Gandhi, a senior AAP functionary, Ruben Mascarenhas and Vinay Mishra from the FIR, claiming her complaint had been misrepresented.
On Friday last, Singh was booked under IPC sections 354(a)(sexual harassment), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman); and his two associates under section 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) at Oshiwara police station on a complaint by the volunteer.
Gandhi, Mascarenhas and Mishra were booked for abetting the crime.
In the letter, the victim alleged her statement had been distorted. The woman said she narrated the sequence of events that took place in April and stated that a lady called Ulfat, an aide of Singh, asked her not to lodge a complaint, while another person named Sam supported the accused.
According to the 21-year-old, she never named Gandhi, Mascarenhas or Mishra in her criminal complaint.
Demanding immediate action against Singh and his supporters (Sam and Ulfat), the victim said "I am shocked to hear that my complaint now includes AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, Ruben Mascarenhas and Vinay Mishra. I have not made any complaint against these three people."
"I gave my statement in Hindi to a lady police officer, who later read it out in Marathi. I am therefore not aware that the statement was worded correctly," the victim said.
The woman claimed she was allowed to go after signing on blank forms by the officer.
"Shocked" at learning through social media about Gandhi's name figuring in the complaint, she said, "I have made no complaint against Gandhi, Mishra or Mascarenhas.
"It took me a lot of courage to file a complaint and I never thought I would be involved in a controversy that would unnecessarily malign names of these people."
Maria confirmed receiving the letter and said the case has been transferred to Mumbai Crime Branch.
Meanwhile, Gandhi today held a press conference where he refuted the charge of abetting the crime. "It was me who took the volunteer's complaint seriously and ensured expulsion of Tarun Singh. An internal committee of the party had been enquiring into the matter."
Alleging facts had been deliberately distorted, he sought stern action against the police personnel involved in lodging the FIR and those who "provoked" the cops.