UP Police on Thursday recorded the statement of the 16-year-old girl, who was sexually assaulted and her mother repeatedly gang-raped allegedly by state minister Gayatri Prajapati and his aides, at AIIMS in New Delhi.
However, the lawyer and family members of the girl accused police of “threatening and forcefully” recording the statement.
Deputy superintendent of police Ameeta Singh recorded the girl’s statement after seeking permission from the medical superintendent. She also interacted with the girl’s mother.
“I recorded the statement of the minor girl and the entire process was videographed as per the rules under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
“Her mother, who is the complainant, was sitting next to me when the statement of her daughter was being recorded,” she said.
Mehmood Pracha, the lawyer representing the mother, strongly objected to the recording of statement saying proper procedure was not followed.
“Firstly, they did not take permission from the doctor treating the victims. Also, the police threatened the mother and the daughter. They also snatched their mobile phone. The girl is still in trauma,” he alleged.
“How can they use such force to record her statement? Also, on what basis were they recording the mother’s statement when she has already got her statement recorded in front of a chief metropolitan magistrate in Lucknow?” asked Pracha.
The mother of the minor, who claimed to have been repeatedly gang-raped for over two years on the promise of a position in the state’s ruling Samajwadi Party and sand mining contracts, had moved the Supreme Court, which ordered registration of an FIR against the minister and his accomplices in the February 18 incident.
According to doctors treating the girl at AIIMS, she was in a state of “severe trauma”.
“She is living in constant fear. She is unable to sleep at night. Whatever happened with her and her mother keeps coming back to her. We have put her on medication and she is undergoing behavioural therapy,” they said.