Two days after a 19-year-old student alleged that she was abducted from a bus stop on her way to a coaching centre, drugged and gang-raped in Haryana‘s Mahendargarh district, raids were conducted to arrest three accused, police said on Friday. A Special Investigation Team was also set up to probe the case.
The father of the young woman, a school topper who was felicitated by the government, said she could have been raped by eight to 10 men.
The mother hit out at the police for allegedly failing to take action in the case and said her daughter was traumatised even as the accused “were roaming freely” after the incident.
“She has named three accused, but when the horrific incident took place, she sensed that 8-10 persons could have been there,” the victim’s father told reporters in Rewari Friday, noting she was drugged by the accused.
The incident evoked sharp reaction from the opposition, with former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda alleging a complete breakdown of the law and order situation.
He demanded resignation of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on moral grounds for the state’s alleged failure to protect its daughters.
“The chief minister should resign on moral grounds. There is complete breakdown of law and order machinery in Haryana. The latest shocking incident is not an isolated one… Criminals were on the run from Haryana when the Congress was in power, but crime graph has gone up ever since the BJP came to power,” Mr Hooda alleged.
Mr Khattar told reporters in Rohtak the law will take its course and assured that culprits will be punished.
“We are conducting raids and hope to make arrests soon,” Mahendergarh Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar said.
He said raids were being conducted in Rewari and Mahendergarh districts and neighbouring areas.
When asked if eight to 10 people could be involved in the gangrape, Mr Kumar said, “The victim has given a statement to the police in which she has named three accused.”
“The government talks about Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao, but is this the price we have to pay for getting our daughters educated? The accused are roaming freely but police has failed to nab them,” the 19-yer-old’s mother told reporters in her village in Rewari district.
“The police has failed to take any action. We were made to run from pillar to post before our complaint was taken. The FIR was registered at 1 am as the police kept citing jurisdiction issues making us shuttle between Rewari and Kanina,” she claimed.
“All we want is justice,” the mother said.
SP Vinod Kumar said three youths were named in the “zero FIR” which was transferred to them by the Rewari police Thursday.
The accused, who were stated to be in the age group of 20-25 years, belong to the same village as the survivor, said Inspector Anirudh, the SHO of the Kanina Police Station.
According to the FIR, the young woman had gone to attend a coaching class when she was abducted Wednesday while she was waiting at a bus-stop in Kanina.
She was allegedly kidnapped by the accused who arrived in a car and was taken to a secluded place where she was gangraped after being offered a drink laced with sedatives, the survivor alleged in her complaint.
The accused left her near a bus stop in Kanina later that day.
Meanwhile, the victim was admitted to a hospital in Rewari after she complained of pain in the abdomen.
“The patient was brought here with complaint of abdominal pain and we admitted her. Her ultrasound and X-ray were done which were normal,” said a doctor at civil hospital at Rewari.
“Her vitals are stable, though she appears to be tense. We will also seek a psychiatric opinion. She will be kept at the hospital overnight for observation,” the doctor said.
Haryana State Commission for Women’s Chairperson Pratibha Suman visited the victim’s home and spoke to her in the hospital.
“Another daughter of Haryana gangraped. Under Khattar govt, state already has the highest number of brutal gang rapes as per NCRB data,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Twitter.
The slogan of save your daughter from the BJP was coming true in Haryana, he added.
An official of the women’s police station in Rewari said a ‘zero FIR’ was lodged on the complaint of the woman, and the probe was being conducted by the Mahendergarh Police as the incident occurred in an area under their jurisdiction.
A zero FIR can be filed in any police station and can be later transferred to the concerned police station.
“We got her medical examination conducted immediately. We despatched the medical report to the Kanina Police as they are handling the investigation,” Rewari SP Rajesh Duggal said on Friday.