A man and his parents have been booked for allegedly raping a 28-year-old mentally challenged woman and confining her parents and brother.
The accused, Kunal Bhardwaj, his mother Veena Bhardwaj and father Tirlok Bhardwaj, residents of Phase 3B1, SAS Nagar, had taken the custody of the victims after they were rescued from self-confinement in 2013.
After the family was rescued by the police and district administration from their Phase 3B1 house in February 2013, they were moved to NGO Prabh Aasra in Kurali, after being treated at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.
In his complaint to police, NGO director Shamsher Singh submitted that after the family was moved to the NGO's home for destitute, Kunal, a native of Patiala, approached them seeking custody of the family of four, while claiming that they were family friends. Believing him, he allowed Kunal and his family to take the victims along to Patiala in May 2013.
However, his motive was not to take care of the family, but grab their prime property in Phase 3B1, SAS Nagar, Shamsher alleged. In line with his family's motives, the accused confined the four members of the family, and Kunal repeatedly raped the mentally challenged woman.
In the meantime, the family started to gather documents to grab the victims' Phase 3B1 house and even approached some property dealers, one of whom got suspicious and sounded the NGO, Shamsher added.
As a result, he approached the SAS Nagar and Patiala administrations to probe the matter for the family's welfare. However, they failed to pay heed to his requests.
Shamsher claimed that ultimately, the rape victim's mother managed to flee from the custody of the accused and reached the NGO's home for the destitute in Kurali, and narrated the entire sequence of events to him.
As a result, his NGO on March 13 filed a petition in Punjab and Haryana high court that on the same day appointed a warrant officer to trace and rescue the other family members.
With the help of police, the warrant officer managed to rescue the rape victim from a house in Phase 3B1 in SAS Nagar and her father from Patiala. Amid the operation, the accused tried to obstruct the warrant officer from rescuing the victims, Shamsher alleged.
The police have registered a case against Kunal and his parents under section 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Victim's brother missing
The brother of the rape victim, who was under depression, was yet to be traced. Shamsher claimed that the accused had taken the custody of the man, a law graduate. However, they failed to trace him during the multiple raids at the accused's houses in Patiala and SAS Nagar.