“My friend realised that the youths meant business and that they had planned something drastic. So he told me to get out quickly and make a run for my apartment. I got out and ran towards the gate, but three of the gang caught up with me, wrenched me by the hand and pulled me back into my friend’s car. They forced me into the rear seat. They forced my friend out and pushed him too into the rear seat beside me. Two of the gang got in, one on either side, and we were sandwiched between them. Two others occupied the front seats and we began to move.”
With the remaining two gang members following in the Fabia, the gang drove Trisha and her friend around the area for more than an hour. All the while, the gang member seated next to Trisha allegedly sexually assaulted her.
“One of the gang members said they are policemen in mufti,” Trisha said. “They told us that they had regularly seen us sitting in the car, late in the night. I told them that this was untrue and that I had never sat out like that before. I requested them to leave us, but the gang leader said he would leave us only if we gave them Rs 50,000. Or I had to spend five minutes intimately with them. I told them that I wasn’t carrying that much money and would pay them if they took me to my house. They refused and demanded that we hand over the money on the spot. I realised that they had no intention of robbing us. They were set on sexually molesting me.”
Trisha says that at around 1.30 am, the two cars drove to a desolate area near the railway tracks in Cox Town. “The two men sitting in front got out and pulled my friend out. I was left alone with the two men in our car. One of them told the other to go out and tell my friend to just wait for 15 minutes without making any noise. They put a knife to his neck. The guy who was inside my car told me that they would kill my friend if I did not cooperate with him.”
Trisha says he then began fondling her and “doing despicable things”. “It was tantamount to rape,” Trisha sobbed. The ordeal went on for about 15 minutes after which she was allowed to go. They released her friend too.
“We drove back home. I cried and cried the whole night. I did not tell my parents about it. The next day, my friends came to console me. I told them that I had seen the man who had attacked me the most previously in the area. My friends decided to hunt him down before approaching the police. On Saturday evening, they spotted the Fabia (KA 01- MJ 8433) near MM Road. But before they could approach, it sped away. My friends did not give up.”
With Trisha’s friend who witnessed the assault leading, the group of friends fanned out in the area on Sunday. “On Sunday night, we saw the Skoda car parked near a fitness centre opposite Albert Bakery on Mosque Road,” the boy said. “We waited there for more than 90 minutes and eventually the gang member came to take the car. We surrounded him and called Frazer Town police. They came and took him into custody. After this, we went to Trisha’s house and took her to the police station to lodge a complaint.”
But another drama enfolded at the police station, making the incident all the more painful for Trisha.
Victim says cops tried to ‘convince’ her to tone down complaint
The night of trauma still fresh in her mind, Trisha had accompanied her friends to Frazer Town police station at around 11 pm on Sunday. She alleges that there, the police gave her a first-hand version of their style of policing and their sense of justice.
“I began writing the complaint after confirming that the man who my friends had caught was the same man who had misbehaved with me,” Trisha told Mirror. “I addressed the complaint to the police inspector and wrote the subject — ‘Kidnap, Sexual Assault and Molestation’. I don’t remember the names of the policemen at the station, but I know an inspector and sub-inspector were present, while another policeman named Kumar dictated to me. They told me not to mention sexual assault and kidnap and asked me to keep only molestation as the subject.”
Trisha says the explanation the police gave was that since she was taken in her friend’s car, “it did not amount to kidnap even if they did it forcibly”. “They said that to include sexual assault, I would have to undergo some medical tests.”
Under such duress, Trisha dropped the sexual assault and kidnap from the subject and merely narrated the entire incident in detail. While police are expected to file cases based on the details in the complaint, the usual practice is to simply go by the subject specified in the complaint.
Trisha says that after a three-hour ordeal at the station, the complaint was eventually accepted. But the police did not register an FIR immediately, violating a Supreme Court direction. And instead of taking the girl for a medical test, the cops sent her home along with her friends.
On Monday morning, Trisha’s friend went to police station again to obtain a photocopy of the complaint and a copy of the FIR. He claims he was made to wait interminably before police inspector, Mohammed Rafiq, finally spoke to him over the phone and asked to bring Trisha to identify the miscreants who misbehaved with her.
On Monday evening, this BM reporter went to the police station along with Trisha’s friend and found that the police had still not registered an FIR. Trisha’s friend repeatedly requested for a copy of the FIR, but the police instead asked him to get into a jeep. They took him to the spot from where Trisha and her friend were abducted for the Mahajar report (spot visit report). An FIR was registered only after the police learnt that BM had been to the station — almost a full 24 hours after the complaint was first received.
Police have registered a case under IPC sections 341(wrongful restraint), 384 (extortion), IPC 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), IPC 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and IPC 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty). Section 384 carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment of three years. The other sections attract a lesser sentence.