Instead of choosing to go with her parents, Faridkot teen Shruti Sachdeva, whom the police claim to have rescued from her alleged abductors, preferred to be sent to a Nari Niketan in Jalandhar on Tuesday. The 15-year-old girl also refused a medical examination, though her decision came after a change of stance before the Faridkot chief judicial magistrate (CJM) that left her parents flummoxed and angry.
The alleged chief abductor, Nishan Singh, 19, who was arrested when the girl was rescued from Goa on Sunday, was meanwhile sent in police remand till October 27 by the same court later in the day.
As Shruti, who was allegedly abducted at gunpoint on September 24, was produced before CJM Dr Rajneesh amid heavy security around 10am, initially her statement read that she wanted to go with her parents and be examined medically. But within minutes, she told the CJM that the first statement was made under pressure from her parents, and asked for her supplementary statement to be recorded. In that, she refused to accompany her parents and also said no to a medical examination. She agreed to be sent to a shelter home, and thus the magistrate sent her to the Pushpa Gujral Nari Niketan in Jalandhar.
"In view of the supplementary statement… the request of the prosecution as well as of [Shruti's] parents … that after conducting the medical examination, custody of Shruti Sachdeva be handed over to her parents, stands rejected at this stage," said the order of the CJM.
Shruti's parents immediately cried foul over not being able to meet her, and attributed her change of stance to threat from the abductors and their associates. "The police failed to keep their word; they had promised to hand over our daughter to us. Had we been able to meet her, we could have counselled her," said her mother Seema Sachdeva. "We could talk to her for just a minute with the permission of the court, and she merely said, 'Nishan or his men would eliminate us, mom'. That threat made her change her statement," the mother claimed.
Earlier, as the girl was presented in the court under heavy deployment of the police, disappointment awaited residents waiting for her to be handed over her parents since Monday night. The police drove the girl away from the backdoor of the court. Deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Parmod Ban said in the evening, "It was the decision of the court. The police had prayed to get her medically examined and for her custody to her parents."
Faridkot deputy commissioner (DC) Ravi Bhagat and senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Toor also visited the girl's house at noon. Ban said the abduction was a "very serious crime", and noted that 15 accused, barring Nishan's mother Navjot Kaur and family friend Dimpy Samra, have been arrested.
Meanwhile, as Shruti was taken to the Nari Niketan in Jalandhar, the cops, including personnel from the Faridkot police, provided heavy security there.
No relief for 'abductors'
* Alleged chief abductor Nishan Singh sent in police remand up to October 27
*Additional sessions judge refuses anticipatory bail to Nishan's mother Navjot Kaur and co-accused Dimpy Samra