Asked how he got her address, the accused, a daily-wage labourer, claimed the “police gave it to him” and demanded that she withdraw her complaint.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) said they did not provide any information to the accused and he could have accessed the victim’s address from the copy of the chargesheet served to him as per law. The terrified victim has not stepped out and has opted for work-from-home, worried for her and her family’s safety.
To find your molester at your doorstep must be a frightening and traumatic experience for the victim and her family. How did this happen? Who leaked out the woman’s address to the accused, believed to be a homeless man? The onus is on the police to launch a probe to find out where the buck stops. The man must also be detained, and his bail cancelled. This is a serious breach of a victim’s privacy and safety.
The molestation dates back to September 21, 2022. The victim was travelling for work in the first-class ladies’ coach of a local train when a man touched her inappropriately between Andheri and Jogeshwari stations.
When the victim approached the Andheri GRP chowky, an officer asked why she had not beaten up the culprit. A female officer asked whether the accused was her boyfriend. “They did not understand the seriousness of what had happened to me … and were treating the case like any other petty crime,” the victim said. The FIR registration took three hours.
After she posted her ordeal on X (formerly Twitter), the GRP commissioner at the time, Quaiser Khalid, instituted an inquiry into the conduct of the police personnel. The accused, Biharilal Yadav, was arrested in three days.
On Sunday morning, Yadav rang her doorbell while she and her parents were asleep. He appeared intoxicated. The victim’s mother asked him two to three times how he got the address and each time he said he got it from the police. He kept yelling her name and created a ruckus, causing residents of the society to gather. For him to leave, her elderly father had to repeatedly tell Yadav that they would withdraw the complaint.
“This man is a homeless person. There’s no way he knows how to read court documents or use the internet to get my address,” the victim said. On Sunday, she took to X again to share what had happened. “After I tweeted, a high-ranking police officer called me and spoke rudely for about 10 minutes on jurisdiction – how her case was being handled by the GRP and not the city police. The call was very distressing,” she said.
“Getting justice in this country depends on whether you have a social media account with a significant following, know English so that you can reach out to maximum people to share your ordeal, have an internet connection and a smartphone so that you can beg for basic safety on an app,” she said, adding that GRP never informed her when the chargesheet was filed or when Yadav got bail.
The police registered a non-cognisable complaint. They intend to take preventive action against Yadav and write to the railway police to get his bail cancelled.