June 20, 2019; Two days after a model was allegedly harassed by a gang of bikers in Kolkata while she was returning home with a colleague in an Uber cab, police on Wednesday suspended a sub-inspector for inaction. Police have arrested seven men for allegedly chasing the car in which the model was travelling, and roughing up the Uber driver.
The model-turned-actor, who had posted her ordeal on Facebook, had alleged that police initially refused to accept her complaint citing a jurisdiction issue. She claimed that she had sought the help of officers of Maidan police station in the heart of the city, and later went to Charu Market police station in south Kolkata. On both occasions, she was allegedly told that the incident did not happen in their jurisdiction.
Sub-Inspector Piyush Bal of Charu Market police station has been suspended for failing to file the complaint and misinforming the complainant, a senior officer of Kolkata Police told The Indian Express, adding that some of his colleagues are also being questioned.
An inquiry team has also been formed by Kolkata Police under DC (South Kolkata) Meeraj Khalid to probe the police role into the entire incident.
Meanwhile, all the seven arrested have been remanded to police custody till June 21.
The accused have been remanded to police custody and we will inquire why the model’s complaint was not admitted by the police at the first instance , a senior officer said. Police said that they will also examine the CCTV footage to find out what happened on Monday night, right from the time she took the cab. Those arrested have been identified as Sheikh Rahit, Fardin Khan, Sheikh Sabir Ali, Sheikh Gani, Sheikh Imran Ali, Sheikh Wasim and Atif Khan alias Mohd Samsad.
The accused restrained the complainant and assaulted the cab driver at Exide crossing. Later, the accused followed them and when the complainant stopped the car to drop her friend, the accused pushed her and damaged the car, said a police officer.
The seven have been booked under IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 354 A (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). According to PTI, police have also launched a search for three other unknown miscreants, who were part of the gang of bikers. So far, the police have managed to seize only one scooty of the several two-wheelers allegedly used to chase the actor.
Meanwhile, the model said that the police acted on her complaint only after her Facebook post went viral on social media. As soon as I shared the post on Facebook and it went viral, police took prompt action. They could have done the same thing before, she said on Wednesday.
Narrating her ordeal, the model said she was shocked to see the fearlessness of the bikers as they kept smiling while harassing me .
How can these boys be so fearless as if no one will take action against them? They were smiling while harassing me and my cab driver. I love this city (Kolkata), but what I saw on Monday night was scary. I have the privilege because I am a former Miss India and now I am getting all the support. But imagine how tough it must be for common girls, she told reporters on Wednesday.