Hinjawadi police station Sr PI ‘demoted’ to 2nd-in-command

Mubarak Ansari
Thursday, 11 October 2018

The case would have been hushed up but because of me, it came out. The issues of incompetence and the Hinjawadi (molestation case) was the trigger to make the transfers. —RK Padmanabhan (Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner)

PUNE: Last week, 15 police inspectors were transferred internally under Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissionerate by Commissioner RK Padmanabhan, who had hinted of a major reshuffle for not being happy with their performances. 

The transfers saw several senior police inspectors in-charge of police stations demoted as police inspector (crime), who is the second-in-command at the police station. Among these officers is Shivaji Gaware, who has been made PI (crime) from senior PI of Hinjawadi police station. Yashwant Gawari has been posted as the senior police inspector in-charge of the police station. 

Last month, a shocking apathy of Hinjawadi police came to light after a legal notice to the police commissioner as a 25-year-old woman employee of an IT company was made to wait for four hours and even then the cops did not register her molestation case. Instead, they registered a case of trespassing against the man who had entered the building where she lived as a paying guest. The cops were also accused of extorting money to release staff of the company who runs the PG accommodation in the IT Park in Hinjawadi. The police are yet to arrest the accused who molested the woman. 

THE CASE
The woman works with a multi-national IT company in Hinjawadi and lives at a nearby hostel (all girls PG accommodation) as paying guest. After she returned from work at 3 am on September 9, she was using the washing machine for clothes when a youth, who had illegally entered the hostel, came from behind and groped her. After she raised an alarm, the youth fled. His image was caught on the CCTV camera of a neigbhouring building. However, the cops did not come to nab the accused when alerted by the staff and the woman the same afternoon when they saw him again. When the woman went to lodge an FIR, she was made to wait for four hours. Cops registered only trespassing case and allegedly forced her to not mention sexual assault in the case. 

LEGAL NOTICE FOR COMPENSATION
As per the notice sent by the company through lawyers Balasaheb Khopade and Vijayalaxmi Khopade, API Balbhim Nanaware had detained three staff members of the property. “The police took all their belongings and took them to the lock-up room. On the way to the lock-up room itself, API Nanaware slapped all of them hard in the face. In the lock-up room, all the three employees were made to sit on the ground as if they were criminals. API Nanaware was continuously abusing them and slapping them multiple times. API Nanaware then asked another policeman to get the leather belt and he asked the employees to stretch their hands with palms facing upwards. API Nanaware then hit their palms with brutal force with the leather belt. Nanaware repeated this to threaten staff, to get the senior management of the company involved. When the city head of the company went to the police station around 6 pm (Sept 9), API Nanaware told him that he will keep the staff in lock-up and continue beating them. Then API Nanaware took him to secluded space within the police station and demanded a bribe of Rs one lakh to release the staff. The demand was denied but the police officer was adamant in his demand for illegal gratification. Taking into consideration, the safety and security of the employees, the company city head paid Rs 25,000 out of his own pocket. API Nanaware demanded Rs 10,000 per month from him. Thereafter, Nanaware made notings of all the details of the staff and let them go around 7 pm saying ‘If you find that molester, catch him and get him to us. And if you do anything against me, I will get back to you as I am going to stay here only,” the notice states. 

POLICE COMMISSIONER’S VERSION
When contacted, Police Commissioner RK Padmanabhan told Sakal Times, “As soon as I read the notice, I contacted the victim and registered an FIR in the case. Also, API Nanaware has been transferred from the police station. The inquiry is going on about the allegations against him of extortion also. I accept that my officers erred in their duty and I am taking strict against them. The case would have been hushed up but because of me, it came out. As far as transfers of police inspectors, there were some senior inspectors who had joined after the new commissionerate came into existence (in August). We observed that there are some inspectors who are junior to them but are in-charge of police stations. Then there was also issues of incompetence and the Hinjawadi (molestation case) was the trigger to make the transfers.”

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