Terrible Experience

I don't know what got into me. How could I be so stupid? Either the Mumbai Police is marketing itself way too well or I've forgotten everything everyone ever taught me about policemen!


Warning to all girls:
Maybe having a man with you might help. I don't know.why but I feel I've every reason to believe I would not have been treated this way if I had company. I feel terrible saying this. But never, like never, in your entire life dare to walk into a police station alone to file an FIR. Never!

I remember how scared I had been when I had first walked into a police station in Mumbai with a colleague to file an FIR for my phone. It was 40k and the police had been nice to tell us we will get it. Only that I never got it. So, this time I thought the value is way more and I should go and like a responsible citizen lodge an FIR.

Only a day before I was telling how Mumbai police is the best. How they are taking care of us and working so hard so that everything stays safe. I have always felt so safe in Bombay. But today, I felt scared of policemen! What can be worse in a city than getting scared of people who are there to protect you? Next time I see cops I'm not gonna feel safe, I'm gonna run away!

It was worse than what they show in the movies! At least they don't show a bed in the police chambers!

And they show that they wear uniform. But they don't.

When you are really tired and worried and you walk into a police station to file an FIR, the first question you are asked is why didn't you file it before?

Well, because we kind of knew you wouldn't let us. Knew it's gonna take time. Knew I would be late to work if I ever tried it while I'm on my way to work. So, here, I am while returning before 24 hours of the incident.

Railway police asked the best question. Why do you want to file? Do you have an insurance? No? Then, why?

It's as if the police is telling me that all they are here for is keeping your complaint for things like SIM card loss so that an insurance claim is made.

Who was the person who started the jurisdiction law?

There's this entire conspiracy that runs in a police chamber. If this is what they do to a single girl trying to report a diamond bracelet theft or loss, I cringe at what they would be doing to a woman who is molested or raped. Now you know why I say no one should ever report a rape or molestation?
If a woman was raped while travelling, she is very likely to be asked between which two stations were you? Why didn't you look out of the window and make a mental note of the slow stations that you passed while you were in a fast train. Possibly they will also ask where exactly the penetration had happened to know which jurisdiction it falls into. When did you exactly know it happened? Now you know why I had said you do not report things like rape?
Who wants to go through this torture? I'm sure they don't have daughters!! It's not what they ask, it's how they ask. Also, how they tell you they are doing this for your sake. Maybe it should be really important to know when someone realised.

But I had forgotten all this training I had from family and media in 26 years to never talk to a policeman and keep my safe distance. I got swayed by the Mumbai police Twitter initiative and all that jazz about policemen being nice to you.

So, I don't know where this is going. I gather all my courage,take a leap of faith, tell myself, it's ok to go to a police station alone, these days the Mumbai police is trying to be friendly, maybe they will be nice.

After a long discussion when the cop said give her a paper, I was so happy that I finally get to write my FIR. But soon they were doing ankhon hi ankhon me ishara. The conspiracy between the police officers was making me sigh with helplessness that after such a long convincing, they are going to do, what was already evident. The point is, why do you need so long to decide when you always knew you are going to push the buck to someone else and not work.

But this was still ok. I can never dare to tell my family. They will be so mad at me for ever entering one station. I can't even believe this just happened. I went to the Mumbai Railway Police for help and soon was seen running away from it to save my life. It's a crime if you are a victim. Nothing has changed. Trust me, I'm half dying thinking if any girl had to report a rape, she would rather die. I truly respect every woman so much more now who has been able to report and go through the entire Indian judiciary mechanism! Because I'm not this strong. I feel weak in my knees.

One dare. One experiment. One lesson for life. No matter what happens, never think it can be solved. Never go to the police at least.

So, you sit on a chair by the only man in uniform hoping one day he will stop writing what he's writing and file an FIR. I'm this normal Indian public who's never been to a police station other than for passport verification, that too, when the man would ask the man with me for bribe, and not me.

So, that's all I had for a police encounter. The man who takes bribe from a girl but won't ask her because she's a 'ladies'. And won't even do the work without it.

That in 2010 and now, I had thought things have changed. Stupid me.

So, this plain clothed man, who could very well be a criminal, doesn't even choose to introduce himself. After a long time, the man in uniform asks me to go with that man so that he can make me understand things. I'm here to file an FIR, not to understand things.
But because like every Indian I'm also scared of the police I hesitantly follow. My subconscious is warning me on the shady backside of this police station. He still neither says his name nor his designation. I'm obviously shit scared to ask. He calls himself sahab. Now for some reason sahab has a bed that he asks me to sit on. I'm still trying to judge if I should start running away.

There's a huge table and a chair far away. So, why re we not discussing across the tsvke and talking in a chair and a bed as if it's an interrogation? They deliberately try to break you down and convince you that you should not file an FIR. That you are never ever gonna get back what's gone. Colaba police had been at least nice in assuring me that they they will find my phone an year ago. They never did. But this man, was killing my hope. Also, telling me that this is not a phone that can be traced from IMEI number. Indeed, then where is my phone worth 40k? Why couldn't you trace it in one year? He went to shouting that it's not a car that has a Chasis number.

Soon, that one scary man was joined by 3 others. Imagine this situation very clearly in your head. A young girl is made to sit on a bed while she's interrogated by four men standing and sitting in front of her. I do not feel safe. At all. What if they closed that door? No one will ever know! They are the police. So, from their behavior it's already a crime to expect things to return. I'm petrified by what these men can do right now. Not one of them is in uniform. I finally give up and just run. I'm so scared I don't wana see who's running behind me. Because they were. I could have died of a heart attack. I belong to a respectable family. It is so embarrassing to have police run after you. Or do the shhh shhh sound to call you back. Call me back, really? To get raped? Now that I've hurt your male ego and run away from there? Walk back? Oh, god, no! No one walks into the lion's den twice!

They managed to shatter me to tears. The loss wasn't as bad as was their behavior. I needed this lesson to know why the official process of restoration is worse than the loss itself.

I'm crying and I'm walking away for my life. I can hear, O madam, O madam. I'm scared even more. A woman nearly grips me. The police is calling you. Yes, damn that bed. I'm not going back. Ever. People are wondering how I'm walking away from police. Because, guess what! I've NOT COMMITTED any crime. I was the one who had gone to file a complaint. And if you won't, then I'm ok with it. It's late and I've to go back. I've to go back before somebody molests me and you ask between which two stations were you groped? When did you exactly realise that you had been groped? Was it closer to Bandra? Then it could have been Khar? And you read that entire conspiracy again which reads - Go to Khar railway station because that's not our jurisdiction.

The man who was outside came after me. I'm really sorry I was so much in tears and breaking down that I tweeted @Mumbaipolice . I'm must be incredibly stupid. I felt like I've been hurt by the son and I'm going to the mother of the son. Twitter seems to be the Supreme Court. Now I do not trust one single real policeman in uniform. And even more without.

I did get a call soon enough. But I still shivered initially what if it's the same cop guy now having a grudge?

But it was a nice man. He did listen to it all while I was still crying. I can't remember when was the last time anything could have possibly driven me to such tears when my eyes are all red. I'm sitting in a general compartment now because instead of saying Thank you to Mumbai railway police (if they are there in ladies compartment), I now won't be able to respect them because of the uniform less individuals. Whether or not they were actually policemen, they have changed me for life.

Never report anything to the police. Unless ofcourse you have an insurance. And you never have an insurance for rape or molestation. So, that rules it out anyways.

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