The local police station’s refusal to a complaint of rape spurred a woman to dash off a WhatsApp message to the chief of Thane police. After being turned away by staff of Vishnu Nagar police station, it was police commissioner Vivek Phansalkar who, on the basis of the WhatsApp message, directed his team to take “immediate” cognisance of the woman’s complaint.

A rape case was ultimately registered and a 29-year-old accused arrested on Thursday.

The police said that the accused, Sachin Patil, a Bhiwandi resident who works as a chauffeur, had befriended the woman on a social networking site. A police officer said that he got into a physical relationship with her after promising to marry her.

“In fact, he even took her to a temple in Bhiwandi where the two supposedly got married. A few days later, he told her that it was an invalid marriage,” said the officer. “He started to harass her and even hacked into her social media accounts and sent offensive messages to her friends, relatives and acquaintances.”

That’s when the woman approached Vishnu Nagar police station in Dombivli, but claimed that they refused to take down her complaint. She later sent a WhatsApp message to the Thane police chief.

After officials of Vishnu Nagar police station in Dombivli refused to take down her complaint, the woman sent out a message to the police commissioner