Mumbai cops held for model's rape

Mumbai cops held for model's rape
In a major embarrassment, the Mumbai Police arrested three of their own staff — two assistant police inspectors and a police constable — besides five other people, on Friday on charges of raping a model.

The accused, including a woman, were all remanded in police custody till April 29 by the Esplanade magistrate’s court. The matter came to light when the 28-year-old model sent an SMS to Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria on April 21, who then called her to his office and heard her out.

On April 3, some of the accused stopped the vehicle of the model and took her to a nearby police post. There, one of the policemen assaulted her sexually, the police told the court. In the statement to the police, the victim, an MBA in hospitality from Australia, said she returned to India in 2012 and came to Mumbai last year with the hope of making a film career. She said that one of the accused had taken her portfolio pictures offering her help to find a role in a movie.

She was taken to the police post on the day of the sexual assault and one of the persons present there told her to admit that she was a sex worker so that he could help her by presenting her as a victim of sex trade.

Later, one cop sexually assaulted her. She said Rs 4.35 lakh was extorted from her.  A top officer said steps are being taken to suspend the accused policemen. “We have taken the incident very seriously. Detailed investigations are in progress,” said a senior police official, adding that Maria has viewed the incident “extremely seriously” and that such acts by men of the force would not be tolerated.

After hearing out the model, Maria forwarded the complaint to the MIDC Police Station, following which a case was registered under Sections 376 (rape), 354 (a) (sexual harassment), 384 (extortion) and others of the Indian Penal Code.

The prosecution said the custodial interrogation of the accused was necessary to find out if more persons were involved and to recover the money taken from the victim.Defence lawyers told the court their clients were being falsely implicated and they were going to seek action against the model under Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.Atul Chandra Kulkarni, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), said given the grave charges against the accused, police would not let anyone go scot-free.

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