How can a rape accused singer perform at the Mumbai Police event asks women activists.
Women activists and lawyers have raised objections against the rape accused playback singer Ankit Tiwari for performing at an annual Mumbai Police event held at Andheri Sports Club. According to them how could the police allow such a person who possesses criminal record to perform at the event? This only shows that the police department is not serious about women’s safety. Already crime rates against women have been rising across the country each passing day. How can the police promote such a person against whom rape charges are filed?
Women’s rights activist and lawyer, Abha Singh, strongly protested the performance of the singer who is facing rape charge. “This is highly condemnable. Mumbai Police should not have done this. It sends a wrong message. You are promoting a person involved in a crime against woman. There are so many complaints that police are insensitive towards the crimes against women. This should be taken very seriously. Inquiry needs to be ordered to check who has allowed him to attend the event,” Singh said.
Anjali Damania AAP leader said, “Ankit might be an angel but today he is an accused. An accused performing in a police event shows that the police seem to be insensitive towards women. They should not have invited him for the event. Ankit may or may not have committed the crime but for me as a woman he is an accused and to allow a rape accused to perform is a shameful act of the Police Department. We strongly condemn it. The CM has attended the programme who also holds the Home portfolio.”
Susieben Shah former chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women said, “I think Umang should not have done this. I wonder what was the need for it when there are other better artists who could have performed? It’s highly intolerable and Ankit should have been assigned some social community service work.”
“Nothing more can be expected from the BJP, which spoke of sensitivity towards crime against women and strong action against rape accused, during elections.
“Even at the Centre, the BJP has refused to take action against a rape accused minister (apparently referring to chemicals and fertilisers minister Nihalchand Meghwal),” MPCC spokesman Sachin Sawant said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and a number of policemen, including Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, had attended the ‘Umang-2015’. Bollywood stars performed for the police and appreciated the efforts taken by them to safeguard the city. Fadnavis, however, had left the venue by the time Tiwari arrived on the stage. Tiwari, along with his co-performer, sung a number from soon-to-be released horror flick ‘Alone’ for the audience at the Andheri Sports Complex.
An IPS officer on the condition of anonymity said the police would probe about who invited Tiwari. He said, “We usually avoid performance (in the programme) by a person facing criminal charges. We will check who invited Ankit. However, a fair investigation will be conducted into the rape charges against him.”
The 25-year-old singer was arrested in May last year for allegedly raping his girlfriend on several occasions, after promising to marry her.
Ankit’s brother Ankur had also been arrested for allegedly threatening the victim with dire consequences if she made the sexual assault public. Tiwari was booked under Sections 376 (rape) and 506(2) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, while his brother was charged with criminal intimidation. Both are currently out on bail.
The singer’s manager Gayatri Sonalkar confirmed the singer performed at the event. When enquired about the case, Tiwari’s lawyer Nagesh Mishra said, “Ankit has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court for quashing of the FIR against him. The court is hearing the matter. Police have not filed a chargesheet in the case. We are positive that the case will be quashed.” Asked about the status of the case, Versova Police Station senior inspector Arundhati Rane said, “I need to check the matter.”