Mumbai: 21-year-old event management executive Penny Li was in for a rude shock when she was stopped by a traffic constable for not wearing a helmet. Penny, an Indian national of mixed parentage, says the constable was agressive and cleraly racist. The constable then went on to abuse and physically assault her.
"I was really scared. This has never happpened to me. I did not expect that I would be treated in this manner," said the victim.
Penny was subjected to irrelevant questions when she wanted to file an FIR. Senior officers from Juhu police station asked her to forget the matter after the constable apologised. Reportedly, the constable even took pictures of Penny without her consent. Despite showing the photocopy of her licence, the constable threatened her of dire consequences.
It took a meeting with police chief Rakesh Maria for her complaint to be taken seriously, who then suspended the constable.
"This was an unfortunate incident. This isn't a rule but an exception. Most of our traffic constables are extremely courteous," said Rakesh Maria.
In Penny Li's case the police chief's intervention may have ensured justice but there have been a number of other cases as well where justice has not been imparted.
In 2013, for instance a blogger from Mizoram was called kancha for blocking the way of a police van. Top policemen admit sensitising the force is still work in progress.