A day after the Delhi Police’s crime branch revealed a ‘goof up’ in the investigation in the twin murders of a woman and her alleged lover in outer Delhi’s Kanjhawala, allegations of torture to extract a false confession have surfaced against the police.
The woman’s 45-year-old husband, Ravi*, and his brother-in-law were arrested by Kanjhawala police after the double murders came to light on February 18. Back then, the police had said that Ravi was behind the double murders as he had discovered his wife’s alleged extra-marital relationship.
On Friday, however, the case took an interesting turn when three men — Jasbir Dabas, Devender alias Babloo and Manjeet — were arrested by a crime branch team. The men claimed that the woman was allegedly gang raped in a field by them with the help of two of their friends, Mohit and Vikas.
The trio then strangled the woman and her alleged lover using the man’s belt. They then discarded the bodies in different parts of the city
Both Mohit and Vikas are on the run.
HT on Saturday visited Ravi’s family in Kanjhawala and learnt that his two children, aged 16 and 18, had not gone to school ever since they learnt of their mother’s death. Ravi and his brother Sohan* both worked as sanitation workers. After Ravi’s arrest, the family has been short of money, to the extent of not being able to hire a lawyer to defend him.
The family on Saturday opened up about the alleged police torture after initial hesitation. “The police had pulled out Ravi’s toe nails and forced him to confess. When I met him inside the police station, his feet were badly swollen. His sole was blue because of the beating. He told me that he had no choice but to confess as he could not bear the pain any longer,” alleged Ravi’s younger brother, Sohan.
“The police made him consume some pills in front of me to reduce the swelling in his feet. Ravi kept insisting that he was innocent and wasn’t aware of his wife’s relationship with another man,” Sohan added.
When asked about the allegations made by the family, Madhur Verma, Delhi Police spokesperson, said all aspects related to the case will be reprobed by the DCP (vigilance).The SHO of Kanjhawala station and the investigating officer of the case have already been suspended.
Ravi’s 16-year-old son, Kamal*, alleged that he was kept in a room at the local police station for five days as investigators mounted pressure on his father to confess. “The police ordered me to strip in front of my father. I opened my shirt, but refused to take off my pants. My resistance was met with abuses that were hurled at me and my family by the policemen,” Kamal alleged, adding that he never believed the police’s version of events about his father.
Kamal was also allegedly instructed to ‘mock cry’ due to the police beating. “When I refused to cry, a policeman twisted my wrist to made me scream. They offered to let me off if I gave a statement against my father and brother-in-law,” the boy alleged.
The family has been regularly visiting Ravi and his brother-in-law at Tihar Jail where they have been lodged since March 4. “Each time I meet Ravi, he cries and begs to me to get him out of prison,” said Sohan.
Though, the crime branch’s Friday revelation has brought hope for the family, Sohan is still afraid. “I read about the arrest of the real killers today. It appears to be a a clash of investigations between two police departments. I hope we are not trapped in their internal battle of egos,” he said.
“I just want my brother to be cleared of all charges and return home. We will sell our small plot of land and leave Delhi forever then,” said Sohan.
When HT contacted Rishi Pal, the then DCP of outer district, he refused to comment stating that it would be inappropriate for him to say anything on the issue as he no longer served in the district.
On Friday, Pal had claimed that Ravi had confessed to the killings and some recoveries in connection with the murders had been made from him.
*(All names changed to protect identity)