Things in the police department start moving only when there is pressure from top. At least recent developments in two old cases indicate so.
The police investigations were taking their own time in connection with the brutal attack on Burundi national Yannick Nihangaza, 22, who is lying in coma since the incident took place in April this year, and gang rape-cum-murder of a minor girl, Sunaina, three years ago.
However, the police on Monday claimed to have resolved the Sunaina murder case with the arrest of four. Sunaina, who was around 16 years old when she was allegedly gang raped and murdered on November 10, 2009. Her half-burnt body was found at a secluded place in Nahla village near here.
She was studying in Class 9 at a government girls' school in Jalandhar at that time.
Last Monday, the Punjab and Haryana high court had summoned director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini following a writ petition filed by the victim's mother Manjit Kaur, pleading that the case be handed over to a senior police official above the rank of the SP, preferably a woman Indian Police Service officer.
Following this, a special investigation team (SIT) was constituted on July 3 on the directions of the DGP. Within five days of constituting of the SIT, the police arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in the crime.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Sarbjit Singh claimed that case had been cracked with the arrests. Those arrested have been identified as Rohit, Ramesh Kumar alias Kaku, Jasdeep Billa and Sandeep Singh alias Sandy. Another accused Bhima had been arrested two days ago. Ironically, all the five were rounded up by police immediately after the crime, but were released for lack of evidence then.
When asked why the police delayed the arrest of accused, the DCP said police were collecting evidence against them all this while. He denied that police swung into action only after the DGP was summoned by the high court.
Similarly, in connection with attack on Burundi national Yannick Nihangaza, the city police had booked only three persons earlier. On June 25, victim's father Nestor Ntibateganya wrote to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal demanding arrest of all the accused. A compensation of Rs 5 lakh was also announced to the victim's family.
Following pressure from deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, police swung into action and included five more names behind the attack. Now, a total of four youths have been arrested and efforts are on to nab four others.
Kin cry foul
The family members of four persons arrested in connection with gang rape-cum-murder of minor girl Sunaina have alleged foul play behind the police action.
Madan Lal and Asha Rani, parents of Ramesh Kumar; Ramesh Kumar and Balwinder Kaur parents of Sandeep Singh and Ashwani Kumar uncle of Jasdeep, alleged that police have framed their kin in the case.
They claimed that Rohit and Sandy had already come clean in the polygraph test. They alleged that the arrests were made on the basis of statement of Bhima, who was now a prosecution witness.
DCP Sarbjit Singh when contacted said that the arrests were made after collecting enough circumstantial evidence against them. He said that polygraphs could easily be cheated.