9 October 2014
MUMBAI: Almost a month after the partially charred body of a constable was found in a slum room on Juhu Tara Road and a commercial sex worker was arrested on the murder charge, an investigation has revealed a sordid saga that apparently pushed the woman to commit such an act.
Confessing to the crime, the 29-year-old woman told the police that she killed the constable as an act of revenge as it was he who had pushed her into prostitution and ruined her life. She made it clear that although she could have easily escaped after the murder, she chose to return to the room and set the body on fire in order to attract the police force's attention; she apparently wanted to send across a warning to corrupt cops.
According to what she has told the police, the woman's misery started right from her childhood when she was tortured by her stepmother. In 2002, unable to endure the torment, she ran away from her home in Bihar and arrived in Mumbai. She was then 17. At CST, she came across a plain-clothes policeman — the deceased constable — who promised to help her out but instead sold her to a brothel. Three years ago, the woman again met the policeman; and the man in khaki allegedly started sexually abusing her. That is when she decided to kill the man who was "responsible for killing me gradually". "She said she was forced to entertain a couple of customers every day for a living, but the constable's behaviour was so obnoxious that she decided to kill him" said an officer.
After recording the woman's account of her life so far, the police verified her claims and found most of them to be true. Currently in judicial custody, the woman is now suffering from a life-threatening sexually transmitted disease. Another sex worker has been taking care of her four-year-old son.
In her police statement, the woman said that after arriving in Mumbai in 2002, she took a local train to Bandra. Hungry and tired, she was roaming outside the station when a woman took her to her home in a slum nearby. She stayed there for the night, but the woman's husband allegedly tried to harass her. The woman told her to leave the house and put her on a train to CST. At night, three men, including the constable, approached her. The constable, who was attached to the commissioner's office at that time, and his associates promised to find her accommodation but instead sold her to a brothel at Grant Road for Rs 25,000.
A couple of years later, the woman sedated the brothel owner and ran away. Hoping to leave her misery behind, she returned to the Bandra slum, looking for a job. She took up work at a small factory there and soon after, married a co-worker against the wishes of his family as they were from different religions. Subsequently, the two had a child but shortly, the husband left her.
Having nowhere to go, she took shelter provided by an old sex worker, the police said. To fend for herself, she was again forced to take up prostitution, operating out of Santa Cruz (W). During a raid, the woman was rounded up by a police team, which coincidentally included the same constable. He took her phone number and would often visit her, sexually exploiting her, the woman told the police. When she refused to give in to his demands, the constable would allegedly threaten to arrest her. Convinced that it was the constable who had made her life a living hell since she arrived in Mumbai, the woman plotted to get rid of him, the police said, adding that she convinced a customer to provide her a sedative.
On the night of September 12, the woman offered the constable a spiked drink and as he fell unconscious, she strangled him before fleeing to a friend's home. But she returned the next day, wrapped the body in a mattress and set it on fire, as she wanted to make the killing public, the woman told the police.