Mumbai: In a fresh development in the alleged rape of a 29-year-old model in a police chowky, three policemen accused of raping and extorting money from her were suspended last night, while two officers have been transferred for “inept” handling of the entire episode.
Senior police inspector Prasanna More, Saki Naka police station and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone X Prashant Holkar have been shunted out to non-executive postings. More has been posted in special branch while Holkar has been posted in local arms branch.
Sunil Katape, Suresh Suryavanshi and Yogesh Ponde — all policemen attached to MIDC Police station in the suburbs – have been suspended after they were found guilty of lapses and negligence in handling the case.
“The senior police inspector and deputy police commissioner of police have been transferred for flat supervision and failure to exercise their control over the police station,” said Deven Bharti, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order).
As per the service rules, if a policeman is arrested for serious offence, he is suspended within 48 hours.
The Mumbai police probing the alleged rape suspect that the arrested accused may have targeted other people too by threatening to book them for prostitution and extorting money.
Police officials said that there could be other people who might have been victims of these accused policemen in the past and might not have come forward to register the case due to social stigma.
“The way the so called raid was carried out and the criminal attitude shown by the accused police officers indicate that they may have duped and exploited other people too. We are investigating into to it to know about other victims,” an IPS officer told Firstpost .
The officer added that property details of the accused police officers will be checked to ascertain whether they have amassed the properties through extortion.
On April 23, assistant police inspectors Sunil Khatpe and Suresh Suryavanshi and constable Yogesh Ponde working at the Saki Naka police station were arrested after a 29-year-old model approached the Mumbai police commissioner Raskesh Maria alleging she was sexually assaulted by Khatpe. She also said that the policemen extorted around Rs 5 lakh from her.
Eight persons, including three policemen, have already been arrested in connection with the case. Khatpe was arrested for raping the victim in a police post in Andheri MIDC on April 3. Suryavanshi, Ponde and five others have been booked for extortion, wrongful restraint and wrongful constraint under the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code. All the accused have been remanded in police custody till April 29.
Investigation has also revealed that the authorities at RN Cooper hospital have failed to inform the local police when the victim had gone for the medical examination a day after the allege incident. “Despite being a medico-legal case, the hospital has not informed the local police about it,” said Atulchandra Kulkarni, joint commissioner of Police (Crime).
Another police officer said that it is major lapse on the part of the hospital and it is planning to seek action against the hospital and the doctors who carried out the medical examination of the victim. A doctor has to inform the local or concerned police station if it is a case of sexual assault, the officer said.