The Shruti abduction case is not the only one where police tried to give a twist to the case by releasing photographs and letters of the victim. Three more minor girls have been missing from the district in the past two months and the police allegedly treated one of the families in a similar manner.
The Faridkot police have allegedly used the tactic of snubbing the parents of abducted minor girls to ward off the families’ demand for tracing the girls.
Sixteen-year-old Ankita’s father Gurmeet Chohan alleged that 30-year-old Nirmal Singh had abducted her daughter on August 4 while she was on her way to Delhi in a bus. Nirmal, a Faridkot resident, who was also on the same bus, allegedly gave the girl something laced with drugs and abducted her.
The police registered a case against Nirmal but failed to get a clue about the girl. Later, on September 28, the police produced letters allegedly written by Ankita saying she had gone with Nirmal of her own accord.
The FIR in the Ankita case has also been registered at the same city police station where the probe into the Shruti case is being conducted. The police used the same tactics to snub Shruti’s parents and the protesting members.
“This is the method the police uses to snub the parents of abducted minor girls so that they do not demand justice. We have seen how the police released Shruti’s photographs and the letter. I have also suffered a similar treatment at their hands after the abduction of my daughter,” said Gurmeet.
He said, “The police are trying to trace Shruti only following the media intervention. In other cases, they leave it to the family to trace their minor daughters. The then SSP told me that he could not do anything in the case of my daughter.”
Jatinder Kumar, SHO, city police, said, “Nirmal Singh was close to Ankita’s family. We have made an arrest in the case. Nirmal Singh is still at large.”
Another minor girl, Pooja (name changed) of the local Bazigar Mohalla, was allegedly abducted from near her house on September 27. Her parents accused the neighbours of abducting her. The girl hasn’t been traced.
On the same day Pooja was abducted, another minor girl from Dapphy village near Jaitu in the district was allegedly abducted from her house. She also has not been traced.
“We are very poor. We tried to locate our daughter but there is no trace of her,” said Boota Singh, father of Pooja. Condemning the police role, Swarn Singh, member of the joint action committee formed to demand justice in the Shruti case, said, “It is unfortunate that the police do not take the abduction of a minor girl seriously. Often the police blame the parents for not taking care of their children. It is an open secret that minor girls are bought and sold in the red light areas of Delhi, Mumbai and other big cities. We cannot expect a minor girl to fight back and return home on her own. There is need to change the attitude of the police towards crime against women.”