Thane: Dy Municipal Commissioner booked for sexual harassment of 38-year-old woman

Thane: The Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC) of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) was booked by Kapurbawadi police for sexually assaulting a 38-year-old woman and nurse associated with a COVID hospital.

The woman in her complaint to police said she started working as assistant matron at a COVID hospital in Thane a year ago on June 11, 2020. The COVID hospital in Balkum was headed by Vishwanath Kelkar, Deputy MC of TMC. "The victim claims it all started in January 2020, when the accused started passing lewd comments. In February he also called her to the fifth floor office to check the CCTV footage and sexually assaulted her by taking her close", claimed the woman in her statement to police.

The woman claimed she was following the orders of Kelkar as he was the head of the department. But Kelkar kept taking disadvantage of his position to harass the victim. "On March 16, the head of the security guard asked her to stop coming to work. She kept complaining, but no one listened to her complaints. In June 2020, she was again asked to join back to work", said a police officer.

However, the victim then approached the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Chitra Wagh who then met the police commissioner of Thane. After which an order was passed to file a complaint at Kapurbawadi police station. "The victim met us on Tuesday after she kept complaining for two to three months to the Thane police, senior officials from TMC and other superiors. But there was no response to her complaint. She also complained to TMC's vishakha committee, but the woman claimed no action was taken forward. The police claimed they were waiting for the Vishakha committee report. After we met the police commissioner on Wednesday a case was registered. The commissioner of police also assured that action will also be taken against officials, as to why there was delay in the complaint", said Wagh.

The Kapurbawadi police have registered a case under section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for sexually assaulting the woman. "We have registered a complaint on the statement of the woman and are further investigating the matter. We are yet to arrest the accused and have sent a notice to him," said Anil Deskmukh, Senior Police Inspector, Kapurbawadi police station.

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