The shocking incident in which a 20-year-old woman was raped and impregnated by a private security guard at a quarantine facility in Bhayandar, has evoked sharp criticism from citizens, local social organisations and politicians cutting across party lines.
The outrageous incident was reported from Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation’s (MBMC) institutional quarantine facility in the New Golden Nest area of Bhayandar (east). Although the horrific crime took place thrice in the first week of June, the matter came to light when the woman finally mustered courage and decided to register a complaint, following which the Navghar police immediately arrested the accused on Saturday.
The accused Vikram Shere (27) worked for Sainik Security, a private agency hired to provide guards for the civic body. Under the pretext of giving milk and hot water, Shere had barged into the room and raped her. He even threatened to harm her daughter if she revealed the incident to anybody. After learning about the incident, the woman’s husband instead of offering support, decided to divorce her. “I have asked the civic chief to conduct a probe and terminate the contract of the agency.” said Mayor- Jyotsna Hasnale.
When contacted, civic chief Dr Vijay Rathod said, “While a show cause notice has been slapped on the agency, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are being issued.” Sensing the seriousness, the police have started a detailed probe into the matter.
“Apart from verifying the antecedents of the accused, we will also scrutinize documents to verify the authenticity of the agency and its process of recruitment,” confirmed Senior Police Inspector Sampatrao Patil. “This is not the first case, 12 similar incidents have been reported in the state, but unfortunately, the government continues to remain a mute spectator,” said state BJP leader Chitra Wagh who met police officials in Bhayandar on Monday. "Such a horrendous crime cannot be tolerated. The civic chief should ensure women's safety and take strict action against the agency," said BJP corporator Seema Shah.
Demand for SGB
“Despite being obliged to hire government authentic and background verified guards from the Security Guards Board (SGB), the MBMC has been showing generosity by offering contracts and illegal extensions to this particular agency for the past 11 years. I have officially written to the civic chief to avail services from SGB, ” said legislator Geeta Jain. Echoing similar views, Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik, said, “The bouncers and guards provided by this dubious agency have earned notoriety for crimes such as abuse, assault, extortion and graft. But now the incident of rape is outrageous. I will personally coordinate with the SGB.”