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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Shruti kidnapping case: Police release photos of Nishan's marriage with Shruti

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Faridkot, October 08, 2012
First Published: 22:52 IST(8/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:24 IST(9/10/2012)

In a major twist in the case involving the alleged abduction of a minor girl, the local police on Monday released the photographs and a letter allegedly written by the girl saying she had earlier eloped with main accused Nishan Singh and got married to him; but after being pressed by her family and police, she eloped with him again.

Meanwhile, the parents of the 15-year-old Shruti who was abducted from her house here a fortnight ago, intend to move the Punjab and Haryana high court, seeking a CBI probe into the "abduction" of their daughter.

The parents alleged that the police were trying to give a new twist to the abduction case by floating new theories, projecting it as an elopement in order to divert the public attention from the case.

"We are left with no other option but to approach the high court, seeking a CBI probe," said Ashwani Kumar Sachdeva, father of Shruti.

On Monday, the police said they had got a letter allegedly written by Shruti on October 1 in which she had written that she had got married to accused Nishan Singh after she left her home on June 25 this year. A case of abduction was registered against Nishan at that time.

The copies of the letter, allegedly written by Shruti, have been sent to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court, besides to senior police officials, including IG, Bathinda zone, DIG, Ferozepur zone and Faridkot SSP, besides the Faridkot deputy commissioner.

On the other hand, the joint action committee members, who were present at the place of the dharna in front of the city police station, said, "We do not expect much from the police as it has been 15 days since the girl was abducted and there has been no concrete action so far."

"What has the police done in two weeks except arresting the two accused and recovering a vehicle used in the crime," said the parents.

Angry locals said that instead of maintaining confidentiality of the letter and the photographs as the abducted girl was a minor, the police circulated the letter and photographs of the alleged marriage. As the girl was a minor, the police should ensure that she was handed over to her family and the accused sent behind bars, they demanded.

Meanwhile, members of the Gundagardi Virodhi Saanjhi Action Committee have announced that they will observe Faridkot bandh on October 12 to protest against the girl's abduction and the police's failure to locate her.
 
 

What does the law say

Floating different theories, the police seem oblivious to the law that under Section 12 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, the marriage of a minor child is void where a minor is taken or enticed out of the keeping of the lawful guardian.

Section 2 of the Act describes that a "child" means a person who, if a male, has not completed 21 years of age, and if a female, has not completed 18 years of age. So Shruti, who was born on May 1, 1997, is a minor and her marriage (even if police are relied upon) is illegal.

Even the accused in this case are guilty of serious crime of kidnapping under Section 361 of the IPC and inflicting serious injuries on the parents of the girl.

According to Section 361, Shruti was kidnapped from her lawful guardianship. Even if she had her consent (as per the police theory), Section 361 describes that whoever takes or entices any minor female is said to kidnap such minor from lawful guardianship, said Gurdit Singh Sekhon, a member of the action committee.
 

What does police claim
Meanwhile in a press release issued here on Monday, Faridkot SSP GS Dhillon claimed that the police had conducted around 300 raids, including 200 on hotels in Paharganj area of Delhi, to arrest the accused.

Besides the police have also started the process of attaching the property of the accused. The bank accounts of the accused have been sealed and the process to get them declared proclaimed offenders has been started.

Dhillon said the police had named eight accused -- Nishan Singh, his mother Navjot Kaur and six others; two accused had already been arrested.
 

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