Reported by Sandeep Lenka
Bhubaneswar, Apr 3:
In a complete breach of existing rules and guidelines, the Mahila Police station in the Odisha capital forced a girl out on to the streets to fend for herself at 12:30 AM of Wednesday night and locked the police station from inside.
At about 1:20 AM, the girl was seen sitting in front of the police station gate absolutely terrified while some of the passersby were seen looking at her in a lewd manner.
The girl, identified as Sunita Rout of Chintamaniswar area under Laxmi Sagar police limits, used to live in Bhimtangi following a love marriage with Anil Mohapatra of Puri. She had lodged a complaint with the cops of the same women’s special police station about Anil ditching her earlier in the day.
While the cops had taken her to Nuasahi of Puri and had arrested her father-in-law Nihar Ranjan Mohapatra, it was past midnight by the time they got back to Bhubaneswar.
Her father-in-law was promptly put behind bars and equally promptly the girl was asked to leave the police station at 12:30 AM on her own and two female constables locked the police station from inside.
This act, however is a clear violation of law, apart from being against the spirit of people-friendly policing that the top bosses of Odisha police, including the DGP, have been harping on. The investigating officer was supposed to drop the victim at her residence given that it was late at night. Also, they are not supposed to lock the gates of the police station as directed by the top cops of Commissionerate Police.
The officials had a strange and extremely unconvincing excuse for the faux pas though.
“We had detained a mentally unstable lady from capital hospital. She could have harmed this girl. That is the reason we sent her away,” said a cop.
The question that arises from this specious explanation is: if they themselves could stay with the mentally challenged lady, how they could not protect a lonely girl just for a night and why they could not drop her off at her residence.
“We have asked the in charge of the police station for a report. Action will be taken against the investigating officer and the two constables once we receive the report,” said the DCP of Commissionerate Police Satyabrata Bhoi.
It may be reminded that, in recent past, a sub-inspector of this police station had verbally abused an auto driver and refused to lodge his FIR when he rescued and brought along two young girls who had been subjected to rape late that night.
Even though the concerned officer was suspended after the incident snowballed, other cops of the station clearly haven’t learnt their lesson.