The Haryana police on Friday defended its action in removing two children who were holding a protest demonstration for the last 40 days in this town, demanding release of their father from police custody.
Both children, Nitika, 8, and Himanshu, 7, were sent to an orphanage at Rai in Sonepat district on Thursday night by police. The two had been sitting on a protest along with their grandparents outside the superintendent of police's office in Rohtak, 80 km from Delhi, since July 11.
"We have sent the children to Bal Gram (childrens' home) on the orders of the district magistrate," Rohtak district police chief Anil Kumar Rao told IANS.
"It is wrong to say that we picked up the children and took them away. Their grandparents accompanied them to the children's home. The other relatives are unnecessarily raising a hue and cry about this," he added.
The children were demanding the release of their father Sunil, who was arrested in July for allegedly instigating his wife, a gang rape victim, to commit suicide.
"Our investigations have revealed that Sunil had forced his wife to commit suicide and the couple was having a strained relationship for a long time," the official said.
In 2006, Alka, mother of the two kids, was raped by five men in Sonepat district of Haryana. Not getting justice even after three years, Alka and her husband Sunil consumed poison outside the police inspector-general's house in May 2009.
Alka died within two hours after consuming poison but Sunil survived in the hospital.
However, after getting a complaint from Alka's parents, police arrested Sunil for provoking his wife to commit suicide.
Police officials said that they have arrested Jatinder, the main accused in the rape case from Panipat district.
Sunil's family members have been complaining against police action against him. They accused the police arrested Sunil just to hide their inaction to nab the rapists.
"They had forcibly picked Himanshu and Nitika and did not inform us about their whereabouts. We are feeling very insecure. We don't know where the children are," said Sheela, Sunil's sister.
"By sending the kids to Bal Gram, we have done nothing illegal. We have adhered to the norms of the Juvenile Justice Act," a police official said.
Meanwhile, Sunil was produced in a local court here Thursday and his judicial remand was extended till Sep 3.