Another witness in the Moga molestation case, in which a 13-year-old girl was allegedly molested and thrown off a moving bus—owned and operated by the Badal family—in April last year, turned hostile in the court on Friday, claiming that he never worked for Orbit Aviation company.
The case had brought under the spotlight the transport business of the Badal family, triggering a state-wide outrage.
Ticket-issuer Balraj Singh in the court said he could not identify conductor Gurdeep Singh and driver Sukhwinder Singh, claiming that he had never worked for Orbit Aviation bus company and was an employee of Dabwali Bus Transport.
In his statement to police after the incident, Balraj had said that he had issued tickets to conductor Gurdeep Singh.
The court of additional district and sessions judge Rajinder Aggarwal had summoned witnesses--ticket-issuer Balraj Singh and Sukhwinder Singh of the Regional Transport Office. However, Sukhwinder admitted that the route permit--from Jalandhar to Abohar via Moga, Kotkapura and Muktsar--was approved for the Orbit bus.
Earlier, other prime witnesses--mother and brother of the deceased girl and bus stop in-charge Ranjit Singh--had turned hostile, making the case weak. On February 9, the victim’s mother had said that she could not identify the accused, claiming that she had not been fully conscious when police had recorded her statement. On March 25, the brother of the victim girl had said in the court that he could not identify the accused. On March 25, bus stop in-charge Ranjit Singh, who had identified all accused before the police, turned hostile in court, claiming that he was a farmer.
On March 30, the local court had granted bail to helpers Gurdeep Singh and Amar Ram. However, the court rejected the bail to driver Sukhwinder Singh and conductor Gurdeep Singh.
After the incident that took place near Gill village on the Moga-Kotkapura road, about 10 km from here, leaving the girl dead and her mother seriously injured, the state government had given the family Rs 24 lakh as compensation, besides offering a government job to a member of the family.
The case will come up for hearing on May 17.