A day after a 16-year-old girl was set on fire at her house in Prem Nagar of Dhandhari Kalan, the police on Friday said it had doubts on the veracity of the victim’s complaint and she had been changing stance far too often.
The police claim there were gaps between the statement of the victim and the evidence it found from the spot, where she was burnt on Thursday.
The victim belongs to a Muslim family and had complained against Shehzad, Anwar, Chhotu and Vicky for kidnapping, molesting and attempt to rape on October 27.
Following the complaint, the accused started threatening her and on Thursday, they poured kerosene on her and set her on fire, that has been the victim’s version so far.
Shehzad, Anwar and Chhotu were arrested on Thursday night and have been booked for attempt to murder. Three others, including Vicky, were also booked in the case.
The victim is now at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh.
The victim told the police that Shehzad, Anwar, Babbu, Amarjit and Binder trespassed into her house, thrashed her and set her on fire after pouring kerosene on her.
In the first statement, she had mentioned that she was alone in the house at the time of the incident, as her parents had gone to the court in context with the proceedings of kidnapping, molestation and attempt to rape and trespassing and thrashing cases.
However, before judicial magistrate Karandeep Kaur, the victim changed her statement and said her mother was present in the house, but the accused tied up her mother and then set her on fire. She then said another man named Chhotu was involved in the crime.
The victim’s neighbours told Hindustan Times on Friday that they had not heard any screams from the girl’s house.
“The girl came crying for help around 12pm on Thursday. I immediately covered her with a blanket and poured buckets of water on her to douse the flames,” said Shabnam, a neighbour of the victim.
“She was alone in the house. There was no sign of presence of anyone in the house. I immediately called her mother and we then took her to hospital,” she added.
Shabnam said she had not seen any person running away from the house or entering inside before the incident. She further added that as the area had many miscreants and they were used to bolt doors from inside.
The police investigated the house and also denied the possibility of entry of the accused from the roof.
Family of accused rues conspiracy
The family of accused Shehzad rued conspiracy. His father Mohammad Khuddus said his son, a student of Research and Development College, was appearing in an exam at his college at 1 pm on Thursday.
Accusing the police of framing their sons in a forge case, the families of Shehzad and Chhotu staged a protest outside the Focal Point police station.
They demanded investigation by an independent agency.