Mumbai, April 25: Constable Sunil More, who allegedly raped a minor inside the Marine Drive police outpost, is likely to be tried by a special fast-track court within three months.
Women's groups and residents of Marine Drive have been crying themselves hoarse, demanding a quick trial of More.
The protests continued for the fourth day today with organisations like Majlis and the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) staging a dharna at Azad Maidan this afternoon. They also took out a morcha to Mumbai commissioner Anami Roy's office at the Crawford Market police headquarters.
An inebriated More was arrested last Thursday on charges of raping a 17-year-old college student inside the Marine Drive police outpost.
Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Ahmed Javed met the women's delegation and said that though the stipulated period for submitting a chargesheet is 90 days, the department would try to file the chargesheet in this case at the earliest. He said joint commissioner of police (crime) Meera Borwankar has been put in charge of investigations against More.
Roy had invoked Article 311 of the Constitution to summarily dismiss More from service even before the crime branch investigation was over. The dismissal means More will be deprived of benefits like pension and gratuity.
The women's groups today asked the police department to start a watertight case against the constable. 'There have been statements that More should be hanged. But how many people really get hanged' We would like More to be brought to trial within three months and be severely punished for his offence according to the legal process,' an AIDWA member said.
The activists spewed venom at the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, which carried a report blaming the 'Page Three' culture and skimpy western wear for crime against women. It said women should either behave responsibly or face offences like rape.
'I think this attitude that a woman clad in jeans or skimpy clothes has doubtful character and that the woman is asking for it needs to change. The police attitude towards couples on Marine Drive or Bandra Bandstand is similar. We will raise this with the commissioner,' said lawyer Flavia Agnes of Majlis, who has also provided legal aid to bar dancers, protesting against the closure of dance bars in Mumbai.
From Crawford Market, the protesters moved to Dadabhai Nowroji Road, the main road outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, blocking traffic. They carried placards saying 'Hinsa ki koi wajah jayaz nahi hain' (any reason for violence cannot be justified) and raised slogans like 'Goonda Police murdabad'. Some 60-70 students of St Xavier's College and other institutes also staged a demonstration at Azad Maidan.