Even as the victim of the Delhi gangrape battles for her life in a hospital in Singapore, harassment by the police and threats by accused drove an 18-year-old gangrape victim to suicide on Wednesday night at Badshahpur village in Patran sub-division of Patiala.
As the news came in, the accused were finally arrested and three police officers sacked. But it was too little too late. The mere first-information report (FIR) had been registered 14 days after the rape.
The suicide note names the rapists and also accuses cops of repeatedly calling her to the police station and asking "uncomfortable" questions.
It was around 4.30pm on November 13 when Balwinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh (alias Aman) of the adjoining village Baras allegedly abducted Paramjit Kaur. They drugged and raped her repeatedly in a room at a farm tubewell owned by Sandeep Singh in nearby Brahman Majra, before throwing her in an unconscious state near the gurdwara of her village around 9.30pm.
She filed a complaint, but that made matters worse. "Cops at the Badshahpur police post used to summon her there alone late in the evening, and then asked her to narrate what had happened, in graphic detail," alleged the victim's elder sister, Gulshan Kaur.
Meanwhile, the police and the panchayat got busy negotiating a compromise between the two sides, both of whom belong to a Dalit community and are poor labourers.
When the talks fell through on the question of monetary compensation, the police finally registered a rape case on November 27 against Balwinder, Gurpreet, alias Aman, and Sandeep, and also against a woman called Shinderpal Kaur for having aided the abduction.
However, as no arrests were made, the accused not only harassed the victim and her family, but also started issuing open threats. Hounded, the girl shifted to her aunt's house in nearby Samana town on November 29. "Since the rapists started harassing her at Samana too, she consumed some poisonous substance around 5pm on Wednesday, and died at Government Rajindra Hospital in Patiala late at night," the victim's mother Surjit Kaur told HT.
The suicide note reads: "Balwinder, Aman te Shinderpal Kaur, ene tinna ne mil ke meri zindagi barbaad kar ditti." It says Balwinder, Aman (Gurpreet's alias) and Shinderpal Kaur, three of the accused, had ganged up and ruined her life. It also charges the police with harassment.
Though many aspects in the case are yet to come, it is learnt that the family of the suicide victim and the accused were trying to hammer out a compromise formula after the accused gangraped her.
Between November 13 and 27 the negotiations for compromise were going on at the village level and many locals including the few Panchayat members on few occasions had come to the Gagga SHO requesting compromise between the two parties citing that both parties belong to poor dalit class. SSP Patiala Gurpreet Singh Gill confirmed this to Hindustan Times.
When contacted village Sarpanch Raj Singh Rajja confirmed that a compromise was sought by both the parties into the case before December 27, when the case was lodged.
But since girl's family was demanding more money, the compromise could not be reached, he told this correspondent when contacted.
The SP level preliminary enquiry into the case has stated that the SHO and police post in- charge didn't inform any of the district level seniors and started bringing in the compromise by inviting accused and the complainant for negotiations.
On the preliminary investigations into the case, the police post in-charge of Badshapur police post Naseeb Singh was also being booked under sections 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC. A senior district police officer has confirmed this.
Later in the evening, in a face-saving exercise, Inspector General of Police Patiala Zone Paramjit Singh Gill held a press conference over the issue and dismissed station house officer (SHO) of Ghagga police station Gurcharan Singh, while suspended Assistant Sub-Inspector posted at Badshahpur police post Naseeb Singh.
However, when the incidence was reported to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, keeping the sensitivity of the matter, he ordered DGP Punjab Sumedh Saini to suspend DSP Patran Harpreet Singh and dismiss SHO Gagga Police Station Gurcharan Singh and ASI Nasib Singh with immediate effect.
The deputy CM also ordered IG Patiala to himself conduct a detailed enquiry into the episode and submit the report within one week.
Rape in Balaghat MLA’s office
Bhopal: A girl was allegedly raped in the office of a ruling BJP legislator in Balaghat, about 450 km from Bhopal.
The incident had occurred on November 15, but the victim mustered courage to report it only now.
The accused, Shirish Awadhia, 26, had taken the 21-year-old to the MLA's office on pretext of helping her find a job. He has been arrested, police said.