After repeated allegations of lapses in police investigation, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Lucknow, Deepak Kumar on Saturday constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case against former minister Gayatri Prajapati for gang raping a Chitrakoot woman and attempt to rape her minor daughter.
Kumar told HT that the SIT was being formed to maintain transparency in the police probe and provide a helping hand to the main investigation officer (IO) in the case. He said the SIT would be led by a deputy SP Radhey Shyam Rai, presently posted as circle officer (CO) of Chowk. He said the team would comprise an inspector and two sub-inspectors, who would assist Rai.
The case was earlier transferred from the two previous IOs, deputy SP Amita Singh, who was the then CO Alambagh and now CO Bakshi Ka Talab, and the second IO Avinish Mishra, CO of Hazratganj, over alleged lapses in investigation.
Amita Singh was removed as the IO after the complainant had lodged FIR against her and two other people on April 6 for forcibly getting the judicial statement of the victim’s minor daughter recorded. The probe has now been transferred to the SIT from Avinish Mishra after his alleged lapses in the probe on the basis of which Prajapati and his two aides Vikas Verma and Amrendra Singh alias Pintu Singh weer granted bail from the court of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on April 25. Special judge of POCSO court, OP Mishra was also suspended by the Allahabad High Court, questioning his role in granting bail to Prajapati and his aides.
The inquiry over alleged lapses in the probe by two previous IOs was also ordered after Prajapati and his two aides were granted bail. Earlier, this inquiry was given to superintendent of police (SP) West, Jai Prakash Yadav but on Saturday the SSP transferred it to SP North, Anurag Vats as the SP West himself expressed his inability to conduct it due to extra work pressure. Moreover, the SP West transfer is also likely as he is being promoted to IPS cadre.
To recall, a 42-year-old woman from Chitrakoot accused the former minister and his six accomplices of gang raping her and attempting to rape her minor daughter. The woman had alleged that she was raped when she met the former minister in 2013 for a mining contract. She alleged the accused took her obscene photos and raped her multiple times for three years by threatening to make the pictures public.
The woman had first submitted a police complaint against Prajapati and his aides with DGP headquarters in October 2016 but no FIR was lodged. The FIR was lodged with Gautampalli police on February 18 after Supreme Court order in the matter on February 17.