Heads have started rolling in connection with the thrashing of a woman in full public view and the police inaction thereafter. Three cops of Daba police station were suspended on Wednesday by the Ludhiana police commissionerate following the intervention of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. The suspended cops are Daba SHO inspector Jatinderjit Singh, ASI Jaswant Singh and head constable Avinash Kumar, who are accused of inaction and have been sent to police lines. They also face a departmental inquiry.
The police also arrested three accused, identified as main accused Manoj, Kalu and Rahul.
According to police commissioner Ishwar Singh, another accused, Ashok, was absconding and was probably in Uttar Pradesh. A police party has been sent to UP for his arrest, he said.
The police commissioner has also formed a special investigation team (SIT) led by ADCP (city-1) Nilambri Jagdale and ACP (west) Gurpreet Kaur Purewal to probe the matter. The SIT would submit its report in three days.
The police also added sections 354 (molestation), 382 (snatching) and 452 (trespassing) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the FIR. Earlier, the police had registered a case under sections 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC, Section 3 of the Atrocity Act and Section 66 of Information Technology Act against only two accused - Kalu and Ashok.
Meanwhile, inspector Ratanjit Singh, who was earlier additional SHO at Division 1 police station, has been appointed as Daba SHO.
The victim, Geeta, also met vice-chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes Raj Kumar Verka on Wednesday at the circuit house and recorded her statement with him.
Geeta said she was not satisfied with the manner in which the police had handled the case. She said that she had lodged a complaint against eight people and the police booked only four of them.
Police commissioner Ishwar Singh said the police arrested three of the accused immediately after registration of the case. He also denied the role of any politician in the case.
It was only after Hindustan Times highlighted the issue on April 16 that the police registered a case.
Protest in support of accused
Family members and well-wishers of the accused
and some residents of Prem Nagar of Dhandhari road staged a protest against registration of case and blocked the road at Sherpur chowk. They demanded quashing of the FIR registered against the accused.
Among the protesters were Mahender Kumar and Pramod Kumar, who alleged that the woman had got registered the case against area residents under a conspiracy. They also cast aspersions on the character of the woman. The protesters had also thronged the circuit house, where vice-chairman of National Commission for SCs Raj Kumar Verka was to arrive, but the police dispersed them.