The court has awarded life imprisonment to four people in the Badshahpur gangrape case, in which harassment by the police and threats by the accused drove a Dalit victim to committing suicide in 2012.
Balwinder Singh of Badshahpur; Gurpreet Singh “Aman” of adjoining village Baras; Sandeep Singh and Shinderpal Kaur are convicted of rape and kidnapping. Each has to pay a fine of `25,000 by the order of additional district and sessions judge Jatinder Kaur. A separate case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder is in progress in a Samana court.
The court acquitted police sub-inspector Naseeb Singh, who had sat on the complaint for 14 days allegedly to force the victim and her family to reach a compromise with the accused. Upset by the trauma and the pressure, the victim committed suicide on December 27, 2012.
The case hit the national headlines, as it had come to light days after the Delhi rape case that had triggered public outrage. In a face-saving action, the police dismissed three policemen, including SI Naseeb Singh, who was also named in the first-information report (FIR).
The complainant and the victim’s family, who deposed as witnesses, turned hostile during the court proceedings. Victim’s brother-in-law Gursharan Singh was declared hostile, which the others, including her mother, Surjit Kaur, and sister, Charanjit Kaur, also retracted their statements against the police and the accused.
“The court, taking cognizance of the evidences, has convicted Balwinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh under Sections 376 (rape), 366 (kidnapping), and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), whereas Shinderpal Kaur, who helped the accused kidnap the girl; and Sandeep Singh, who let the crime be committed in his house, have been convicted under conspiracy charges read with the above IPC section,” public prosecutor Sanjiv Batra told the media after the verdict here on Saturday.
Balwinder and Gurpreet kidnapped, drugged and raped the girl repeatedly in a room at the tubewell of Sandeep Singh at Brahman Majra village; and when she became unconscious, dumped her near the village gurdwara on the night of December 13, 2012.
She filed a complaint, but that made the matters worse. “Cops at the Badshahpur police post would summon her alone at night and ask her to narrate the incident in graphic detail,” said the victim’s mother. In her suicide note, the girl named her rapists and the policemen who had harassed her. After she took poison, police had to book their personnel along with accused named in the FIR.