Maharashtra: Missing woman from Amravati found; police say FIR only if she has complaint

A 19-year-old woman who went missing on Tuesday afternoon from Amravati in Maharashtra, drawing “love jihad” allegations from BJP leaders as well as independent Lok Sabha member Navneet Rana, was found at the Satara railway station on Wednesday night, police said.

An officer from the Rajapeth police station said Thursday that police will register an FIR only if the woman, whose identity has been withheld, has any complaint. “We sent a message on wireless and roamed around with her brother to find her. We asked him if we could circulate her photos in our circle to find her but he refused. We spoke to two of her female friends, who gave us a lead. We detained a man known to her and got another lead which we worked on with help from our cyber police. She was traced to Satara around 11pm on Wednesday. She is being brought back. Police as well as women commission will record her statement to find out if she has any complaint against anyone,” said the police officer.

After the woman left home without informing her parents, they got a missing complaint registered at the police station on Tuesday night.

Local BJP workers led by spokesperson Shivrai Kulkarni then alleged this was the fifth case of “love jihad” in the region. And Rana claimed the woman had been confined by the members of a community.

Rana created ruckus at the police station on Wednesday saying senior inspector Manish Thakare recorded her phone call when she called him to inquire about the investigation. She said she had also asked police to act sternly against the man they had detained.

The lawmaker was caught on camera shouting at deputy commissioner of police Vikram Sali. “Who gave you the right to record my call? Why can’t I call to ask about women’s safety? Is it because I am a Dalit that my calls are recorded? Do you think I am mad?… Call the police commissioner here or I will not get up from here. Who gave you the order? Give me an answer. Hindu women are being targeted and you record my calls. You do not teach me.”

Rana also wanted police to summon and question the detained man’s parents and brother. “There are so many such cases in Amravati. Amravati is getting a bad name because of this. I am the MP and I am answerable for this,” she said.

The MP, who shouted at the DCP banging a remote control on a table, was finally escorted out of the police station. This ruckus delayed the investigation on the missing complaint by two hours, according to a police officer.

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