Senior inspector suspended for ‘harassing’ women colleagues

India on 28 April 2014
Location : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India | Source : Mumbai Mirror

A senior inspector from Nirmal Nagar Police Station in Bandra (E) was suspended on Monday following allegations of harassment by two women cops. According to sources, the officer, Ashok Borse, has been accused of calling up the women officers at odd hours and passing "sexually explicit remarks".

Sources said the women cops submitted complaints directly to Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, leading to an inquiry. After the complainants and Borse recorded their statements, Maria decided to suspend the senior inspector to send out a strong message within the police force, sources said.

This is the second time Borse is facing a disciplinary action. He was also suspended in 2004, during his tenure at Ghatkopar Police Station, where he was allegedly caught with a bottle containing alcohol while on duty by a zonal deputy commissioner of police.

Sources said that Maria recently called for a meeting with women cops in which he urged them to directly contact him in case of professional problems. One of the complainants approached Maria a week ago, and a senior Indian Police Service officer was asked assigned the inquiry.

Sources said one of the complainants alleged that Borse would call her at odd hours, at times at 4 am, to issue work directives. In a few conversations that were also recorded by the complainant, Borse passed sexually explicit remarks which the woman officer initially ignored, sources said.

"The woman officer said in her statement that she was not the only one to receive such calls from Borse. Another woman officer's name came up but she couldn't be contacted as she had been ailing. However, a third woman cop decided to speak up after she came to know of a complaint being filed against Borse," the source said.

Borse, however, told Mumbai Mirror that the allegations were an attempt to frame him. "The three women cops in question are irregular at work and would often go on long leave without approval. I spoke to them as the head of the police station and for professional reasons," he said.

The senior inspector said the fact that the complainants recorded the conversation suggested there was a plan to frame him. "One of the complainants was issued a show cause notice by the DCP for defaulting in discharging duty. I have been denied an opportunity to clarify but I will face the inquiry. One should speak to the women constables reporting to me to know the truth," he said.

Maria said that such acts by police officers will be "shown zero tolerance". The police commissioner said, "We are fighting to make women feel safe in the city and if our officers don't behave responsibly, then it will not be tolerated," even as sources said another officer, attached to the local arms division, is also being probed after a woman complained to Maria that she had been cheated.

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