The second key witness in last April’s Moga molestation and murder case against the crew of a Badal family bus has turned hostile. On Friday, the brother of the victim girl (13) refused to identify the accused in court.
Even after describing how a conductor had misbehaved with his mother and sister and pushed them off a moving bus, the boy didn’t point a finger at anyone. The case had put spotlight on the money-spinning transport business of Punjab’s ruling clan, besides triggering public outrage and comparison to the December 2012 gangrape aboard a bus in Delhi.
Another witness, bus stop in-charge Ranjit Singh, who had identified all the accused before the police, turned hostile in court, claiming that he was only a farmer. “I quit as man in charge of the bus stop in 2012,” he submitted. In his police statement on April 29, 2015, he had recalled correctly that the Orbit bus had reached Moga at 3.20pm and departed at 3.26pm.
On February 9, the victim’s mother had refused to identify the accused during a hearing, claiming that she had not been fully conscious when police had recorded her statement. The case now will fall flat in all likelihood. Police had booked crewmen Sukhwinder Singh “Pamma”, Gurdeep Singh “Jimmy”; Amar Ram, and Ranjit Singh based on their statements.
Assistant district attorney (ADA) Lakhvir Singh, who is also prosecutor, said that both Ranjit and the minor victim’s brother had failed to recognise the accused during cross-examination and resiled from the previous statements to the police.
The incident at Gill village on the Kotkapura road, about 10 kilometres from here, ha left the girl dead and her mother wounded seriously, after which the state government had given the family `24 lakh as compensation, besides offering government job to a member from the family. The next hearing is on April 5.