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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Rape suspect Akali activist threatens to commit suicide

Bharat Khanna, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, March 15, 2013
First Published: 23:46 IST(15/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:48 IST(15/3/2013)

Days after a rape victim attempted suicide over alleged police inaction, now the suspect, who is an Akali activist, has threatened to commit suicide, if the police didn’t listen to his version.

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He has also forwarded a message on the mobile-phone number of the victim’s family, accusing her of implicating him in a false case. The family has taken it as a threat, compounding the worries of the Bathinda police, who now are in a Catch-22 situation.

The suspect, Satpal Grover, who continues to be on the run, has written the same message in letters to the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court; governor; chief minister; director general of police; state human rights commission; Bathinda’s inspector general of police; senior superintendent of police at Kotwali (Bathinda); and additional superintendent of police Alka Meena.

The rape victim attempted suicide on Monday by consuming poison after lodging her complaint on March 8. On Tuesday morning, she had been moved to the Civil Hospital, where she was referred to a higher institute. She was then admitted to a private hospital in Bathinda, where doctors confirmed her condition as stable and the police recorded her statement.

Following her attempt to suicide, the police registered a case against Satpal Grover at Kotwali under Section 376 (rape), 306 (abetting suicide), 354 (criminal assault to outrage modesty), 499 (defamation), 511 (attempt to commit an offense punishable with imprisonment), and 116 (abetting crime punishable with imprisonment, if offence be not committed) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Claiming to be innocent and demanding fair investigation, the suspect had written in the letter that he had long conversations and text-message exchange with the victim, following an affair.

In the letter, Grover has mentioned the names of the rape victim, her husband (the complainant), her family, and a police official, and stated that they are to be held responsible, if he commits suicide.

“Grover is close to the ruling party and even as he is on mobile phone, the police have failed to trace him. He is sending us messages and letter, threatening to attempt suicide, unless we compromise.”

ASP (city) Alka Meena confirmed having received the complaint on March 9. “The investigation was marked to the station house officer of Kotwali,” she said. “The investigation is on.”

Harjinder Kaur, investigation officer in this case, confirmed having lodged the first-information report already on complaint of the victim’s husband, who had alleged that suspect had first helped them in the transfer of a school post and then molested and raped his wife after developing good relations with the couple.

“A special investigation team is working on the case,” said inspector general of police Nirmal Singh Dhillon. “The superintendent of police (detective), DSP (D), and two women officers (ASP Alka Meena and Avneet Kaur Sidhu) are on this team. My office has received no letter from the suspect in which he has threatened to commit suicide,” the IGP added.

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