A tussle over jurisdiction between two police stations may have just ensured the destruction of crucial evidence that could have helped pin down the rapists of a teenager in court.
The 17-year-old victim and her family were made to run between Sector 20 and Sector 49 police stations in Noida for more than two days simply to register a complaint. The policemen refused to file the complaint, saying that the crime did not take place in their area.
It is crucial that in rape cases medical examinations are conducted within 24 hours for strong evidence like marks of injuries and semen samples. Delay in such cases could result in miscarriage of justice.
Neelam (name changed) said three of her neighbours forcibly pushed her into a car in Sector 20 police area on Saturday while she was returning from a temple. “They assaulted me in the moving car for more than one hour and threw me out in Sector 49 area,” she said.
The trauma did not end here. When she approached the Sector 49 police station on Sunday, the cops asked her to go to Sector 20. “When I went to Sector 20 police station, I was made to sit there till 3 am. I gave them the names of the accused but still they did not file a complaint,” Neelam said.
Her family said the accused came to their home on Monday and threatened them. They even allegedly molested the victim’s sister.
It was only on Tuesday that a case was registered at Sector 49 police station after the superintendent of police intervened. “I came to know about the jurisdictional dispute on Tuesday morning and immediately ordered lodging of an FIR,” said R.K. Gautam, superintendent of police. “I have directed all station officers to first lodge FIRs and transfer it to the concerned police station later.”
Gautam said that the accused — Prakash, Sandeep and Sushil — were absconding.