When Protectors Turn Violators, What Hope There is for Us? Delhi Cop Held for Molesting, Stalking Women

Social Commentary

When Protectors Turn Violators, What Hope There is for Us? Delhi Cop Held for Molesting, Stalking Women

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Where do women go when their protectors turn violators? In Hathras, the police, at first, denied the rape, now in Delhi, a police officer has been accused of sexual misconduct. On Saturday, Delhi Police Sub-Inspector Puneet Grewal was arrested on charges of molesting, stalking, and passing lewd remarks at women. Posted at the Special Cell unit, he is currently under judicial custody.

Grewal’s crime came to light after a woman took to social media on October 17 to recount the harassment she had been subjected to via a video message. Narrating the incident, the woman stated that she had stepped out for cycling in the morning, when she was followed by Grewal in a grey Baleno. She didn’t think much of it when the car was driving next to her, choosing to ignore its presence completely. “I tried to ignore him but he honked. I signalled to him to go ahead but he didn’t,” she said in the video. According to the woman, the man asked for directions to Sector-14 in Dwarka but when she chose to help him, he went ahead and unzipped his pants instead.

When she angrily asked him to leave, the police officer made nasty comments. He only fled the scene once the woman started screaming for help. This is not an isolated incident; Grewal is a habitual offender. The Dwarka South police station has admitted to receiving complaints against an unidentified person in the area for molesting and stalking women. Following the complaints, multiple FIRs were registered against the cop.

Based on the complaints that hinted that the crimes took place between 8 am to 9 am in Dwarka, the police went through footage from around 200 CCTV cameras and deployed nearly 200 police personnel to trace the accused. Details of 286 Balenos registered in Delhi were also looked into to proceed with the case. However, the Baleno used by the offender did not have a registered number. Even so, the Delhi Police were persistent in their search and finally tracked down Grewal in west Delhi’s Janakpuri.

“We deeply regret the incident. We have registered a case and are following it up,” said DCP Dwarka Santosh Kumar Meena. At present, four cases have been lodged against Grewal, including one under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, according to the Delhi Police.

Even men in uniform can no longer be trusted. Are India’s daughters then in-charge of their own safety?