Promotion has come to the policemen who made arrests in the Faridkot kidnapping and rape case but punishment hasn't come to the deserving.
After all the fuss, 23 of the policemen who worked on the case have had their career advanced. However, there's no sign of the promised inquiry against others. Not only the registration of the case was delayed after the kidnapping of a minor here on September 24 but also the arrests had come only after unrelenting pubic pressure.
The police sat on the first report lodged on June 24 even after the Section of rape was added. The prime suspect roamed free to commit the crime again. The citizen's joint action committee formed after the second kidnapping blamed the police for all the mental and physical agony that the victim's family had gone through.
The police went against law when they released the photographs of the victim's marriage with the suspect to the media on e-mail, without caring that she was minor (born on May 1, 1997, well under 16).
The out-of-turn promotions turned heads in even in the police department. A sub-inspector whom the joint action committee charged with forcing the girl to stand in favour of the suspect while bringing her back to Faridkot after recovery in Goa is upset over not getting a regular rank, even though he claims to have played a lead role in arresting the main suspect, Nishan Singh, 19, who has a criminal past.
A deputy superintendent of police is upset that he was called back from the recovery operation at the last minute after being working on the case all along. The grumbling officers don't want to come on record for the fear of backlash.
"The joint action committed submitted a written complaint about the suspicious role of some police officers in the Faridkot kidnapping and rape case but it was ignored," said Swarn Singh, a member of the committee. "If the police officials who arrested the suspects can be promoted, the role of the officers we have named should also be investigated."
Officials' denial mode
"The committee's argument is being looked into but the promotions were in routine order," said a senior police officer. "No one involved in the crime is being spared."
Of the 23 promoted officers, three SIs have been given local rank of inspector; an ASI has been given the SI post; five head constable elevated to the position of ASI; and 14 constables made head constables.
The zone's inspector general of police, NS Dhillon, declined to say anything of the matter of the pretext of being busy. Senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Toor also didn't make a statement.
The joint action committee and the victim's family have called for handing over the case to the central bureau of investigation (CBI), and now this request is pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court, which will hear the matter on December 17.