A local court on Monday ordered to release all five arrested accused due to lack of evidence in the alleged gangrape of a Dalit girl from Bhiwani. The 21-year-old girl had accused five men of raping her twice— first in 2013 in Bhiwani and again on July 13 this year in Rohtak. The case had made international headlines garnering major embarrassment to the BJP government in the state.
Based on her complaint, the police had arrested three — Amit, Jagmohan and Sandeep— out of the five accused on July 19, while the remaining two — Mausam and Akash— have continued to be on the run.
The case took a curious turn when few days later, the police arrested two more men— Sandeep Hooda and Parmod Kumar— from Rohtak, claiming that the two were seen in CCTV footage with the girl at a local hotel at the time of the alleged incident. The kin of the girl debunked police’s claim and maintained she was gang-raped by the five men from Bhiwani.
However, the police on Monday moved an application in the court for their release, citing that they have found no proof against the three arrested on girl’s complaint, and no statement from the girl against the two arrested based on the CCTV footage.
Taking things in account, the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) Deepti ordered to release the five accused from jail. The trial in the case would however continue, with next hearing scheduled for October 29.
“The police said they found no evidence against the three. Since she was major and gave no statement of rape against the two held later, they, too, were released by the court,” defence lawyer Harinder Balothia said.
“My clients (Amit, Jagmohan and Sandeep) had submitted CCTV footage as alibi to prove they were not even in Rohtak when the incident was alleged,” Balothia added. The DNA report in the case, too, came inconclusive since the forensic experts found no trace of semen on the girl’s body or her clothes.
The girl had recently threatened to commit suicide if the case was not handed over to the CBI from the special investigating team (SIT) of the Rohtak Police. While maintaining that the SIT was siding with the accused, the family has also moved an application in Punjab and Haryana high court to seek transfer of the case to CBI.