[“My Caged Life” is a series which is the first attempt of its kind in India to bring the agony of men and their families who underwent arrest and illegal detention in different false criminal cases mostly under Indian dowry laws.
All stories of this series can be found – here]
A Mumbai resident Pankaj Gupta who was wrongfully detained in the middle of the night by Ghatkopar W Police on a mere complaint of his wife was forced to share his Aadhaar and PAN Card details with his wife. He then sends a message to a known Men’s Rights Activist from Vaastav NGO, Mumbai. The activist, named Mr. Hussein then tweeted to Mumbai Police Commissioner at that wee hour of the night and informed about the police brutality. Which led to the eventual release of the man. But he was still forced to share his PAN card and Aadhar details.
In a series of tweets, Pankaj told his sordid story to the world –
So, police came to his house on Wednesday night. It was as if the police was nabbing a seasoned criminal. But, we get more surprised when we know what policeman wanted to him to do by force –
Per Pankaj’s Twitter update, the policeman on duty threatened him of ruining his life (’12 Baja denge hum‘) and forced him to share his Aadhaar card number and PAN card number with his estranged wife who already left him.
So, under force by the policeman, he messaged to a men’s rights activist from Vaastav NGO of Mumbai at 3 am in the morning. The activist immediately came to his rescue and tweeted to Mumbai Police Commissioner informing him about the police atrocities. Immediately a phone call came to the police station from Commissioner’s office stopping the police atrocities. Per the tweet, police then started mediating between the estranged couple.
But his ordeal was not over yet, after that he was asked to sign something written in Marathi, a language that he didn’t understand –
So, even if it was written that he tried to murder his wife, he was forced to sign the document without his understanding. Whereas, this is completely against the police rules not to explain the actual content of FIR or complaint.
He was asked to get a copy of the document by filing an RTI.
Pankaj’s tweets tell us, how police misuse their powers. We have already seen the ordeal of Vikas Sachdeva in a fake molestation case filed by Zaira Wasim. Police have not only arrested Vikas but when the netizens all across the country protested against the illegal arrest, Mumbai police also issued a sort of warning to everyone.
The case of Vikas Sachdeva came to light because it was a widely debated case, but hardly anyone knows about cases like the one Pankaj faced. He was brave enough to bring this to notice of everyone through Twitter. The Vaastav activist Mr. Hussein also did a great work by acting at the right time and taking up the case with the Police Commissioner.
In this case, clearly the Ghatkopar W Police was not authorized to forcefully get the aadhaar or PAN details, but they did. Clearly, these documents can be misused against Pankaj, and later he may have to face a more difficult situation. By misusing these details, anyone can hatch some other criminal conspiracy against him. Will Mumbai police take responsibility for that situation?
It was indeed a brave act by Pankaj to share his story publicly. Normally, in such cases men get afraid and they worry negative consequences and do not speak up. By speaking up at the right time, Pankaj has helped many others to understand the kind of ordeal men are going through every day in different parts of the country on the mere matrimonial complaint. They are treated worse than seasoned criminal. We have already seen how Mumbai police had handcuffed Vikas Sachdeva.
It is very important that all of us raise our voice against this kind of police brutality against ordinary law abiding citizens in the name of investigation in matrimonial cases. Incidents like this only tell us that police and judiciary has started a war against ordinary citizens and mainly families of men. A reason good enough to defy them totally.