An IIT Bombay student spent much of December 30, 2022, night battling a drunken policeman who was out to hurt the modesty of his batchmate on Palm Beach Road.
The two IIT Bombay students were strolling on the road waiting for Friday's first local train, scheduled for 4 am to get back to their hostels in Powai, when they spotted a motorcycle coming towards them.
“I realised something was fishy when the constable riding the bike was dressed in a policeman's uniform, but had no shoes on,” the boy told The Free Press Journal.
Drunk cop touches student inappropriately
The policeman brought the bike to a halt near the couple and slurred as he demanded to know what the teenagers were up to. "The policeman was evidently drunk and not in his senses and he asked me to hop on to his bike. I refused to. I would not have left my friend alone that time,” the boy said.
The constable went on to ask the 19-year-old female student for her contact details and when she refused he moved towards her and touched her inappropriately.
“I leaped at the cop and pushed him away. The push made the cop stumble and he paused for a while but after a few seconds just charged back at my friend,” the boy recounted.
“Every time he lunged at her, I pushed him back and my friend did the same too,” the boy said.
The couple was not sure what to do then as they didn’t have any means of transport and needed to get to the railway station to catch the first train. “We wanted to get back to our campus but the policeman kept harassing us,” the boy said.
Passersby pulled up to help the students
Thankfully for them, a passing car stopped to see the commotion. The driver, in his mid thirties, pulled over and got down. His wife stepped out as well. The wife went and stood next to the girl while the man helped the young boy restrain the policeman.
"The man helped me and we both kept pushing the policeman who kept coming back at us,” the boy recalled. Finally, the policeman appeared to have got tired and gave up, he said.
The women kept trying to contact the closest police station and retreated to the car. A police jeep arrived at the crime scene in about 20 minutes. The jeep took away the constable while the students rode to the station in the car. “The couple dropped us and waited outside the police station until the officers asked them to leave," said the IITian.
Sub-inspector arrested for not filing complaint against drunk cop
Reluctant to file a case against a policeman, the sub-inspector present at the time forced the students to call their parents. The students, who qualified as adults, were forced to return to Powai without registering a police complaint.
Later in the morning, the girl, with the help of the dean of students at IIT Bombay, went to the Powai Police Station and filed a zero FIR that was transferred to Sanpada Police Station.
The seniors took cognizance of the matter and arrested both the constable and the sub-inspector under Section 354 of the IPC. The constable was suspended and his bail has been denied.
The two students were offered counselling by their institute.
“The incident occurred off campus, so ensuring that the students get justice is in the hands of the police,” said a professor. “IIT, however, will provide the students all the counselling, confidentiality, and support they need to get over the trauma.”
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