The Konark tourist who was dragged off a bus and gangraped on November 4 has alleged that she was offered a bribe and then threatened by a police constable to keep her mouth shut.
The matter was brought to the notice of Orissa Director-General of Police G.C. Nanda and Puri Superintendent Asit Panigrahi by Maa Ghara, a home for the destitute in Bhubaneswar. The 27-year-old woman took shelter there apprehending threat to her life. “The constable told me not to identify the rapist who was in a red shirt and said I would be getting a huge amount if I obeyed him. He threatened that if I remained adamant, my family and I would face a lot of trouble and harassment in future,” the victim told journalists.
She claimed that in the Puri hospital where the police had taken her for medical tests, a woman and two youths approached her with a suitcase containing Rs 1 lakh. “As I called the police personnel accompanying me, the three fled,” she said.
Asked about the allegations of bribe and police threats, Panigrahi said: “Neither in her police statement, nor in statements recorded separately by the Konark sub-divisional police officer and me, has the victim told anything about money being offered to her. However, we will conduct an inquiry and punish the constable if the allegations are found to be true.”
The State Commission for Women, which took up the case on Thursday to conduct a parallel probe, has asked the police to act impartially and stop putting pressure on the victim.