After the gruesome kidnapping and rape of 21-year-old engineering student in Panchkula on the night of January 17 and police failing in its chase of rapist, questions are being raised over women’s safety in the city and police efficacy. As many as 4 rape cases have been registered in the first 20 days of 2017 along with a kidnapping case, which is still unsolved. The landline number of women police station 0172-2021091, given on Panchkula police website, has not been working for months.
While talking to HT, commissioner of police, Panchkula, RC Mishra, said, “Women are safe in Panchkula. We have 25 PCRs, 29 motorcycle riders and 11 check posts put up across the city to ensure safety round the clock. A network of CCTV cameras is also there. There have been 4 rape cases this year, but 3 of them have been solved. We have been working hard to crack January 18 rape case also.”
He added that he himself had been patrolling and checking police stations and police posts and had recently suspended in-charge of Barwala police post.
PROGRESS IN JANUARY 18 RAPE CASE?
The police so far have not been able to release the sketch of the rapist. “We have attempted to sketch 4-5 times. But the victim has not agreed to them,” he said.
He added, “The criminal has gone alert. He is lying low. We have been taking help of Chandigarh and SAS Nagar police where similar cases had taken place.”
The girl was shown the pictures of past criminals but in vain.
He rubbished the allegations that no one among the top brass were present on the day of crime. “DCP was on leave and ACP Munish Sehgal, who is in-charge of women police station, was outside. I myself was present along with ACP Mukesh Malhotra and ACP Dalip Kumar,” he said.
He revealed that nothing had come out from the mobile tower analysis and CCTV footages of various places.
The rapist had faked that he was talking to someone to arrange a car for him before the victim. The girl’s mobile phone was on for a couple of hours after the crime but then it switched off. But as the victim took a couple of hours to report the crime, it couldn’t be traced. No phone could be paired along with that of the victim.