A day after arresting all three accused in the alleged rape and abduction of a 12-year-old Mullanpur girl in May this year, the police on Friday formed a four-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the case.
The police had earlier added rape charges to the FIR registered against the three identified as Bittu, Sapna and Raj Kumar, all residents of Mullanpur Dakha. Sapna had allegedly conspired with the two in the abduction and rape of the victim, who was later forced to go to Meerut by the accused to work as a domestic help.
The case had recently taken political overtones as the victim had accused the son of a former president of Mullanpur Dakha municipal council of helping and protecting the accused. She had also accused the former SHO of Mullanpur Dakha police station of pressuring her to reach a compromise with the accused in lieu of Rs 50,000.
The victim has recorded her statement before the SIT, being headed by superintendent of police (detective) Harjit Singh Pannu. She has also identified the accused.
Ludhiana (rural) senior superintendent of police Ashish Choudhary said the police were serious about the case, which gained importance after leader of opposition Sunil Jakhar had taken up the issue with the state governor. "Let us investigate thoroughly," he said.
* 12-years-old girl abducted from home in Mullanpur on May 5.
* Mullanpur Dakha police registered case of abduction on May 8.
* Later, accused allegedly take victim to Delhi and then to Meerut, where she is raped.
* Accused handed over the girl to a family of Meerut as domestic help.
* Girl returns to Mullanpur Dakha with help of a former Meerut councillor on October 6.
* Victim's family approached court on October 9. Claim police were reluctant to conduct her medical examination
* Court intervenes, asks police to get the girl's medical examination done
* After the medical examination, police charge three accused with rape and conspiracy
Counsel suspects foul play
The counsel of the 12-year-old rape victim, Iqbal Singh, on Saturday claimed that the victim and her family had suddenly gone missing without informing him.
Iqbal Sing said he sensed foul play and alleged the accused might be trying to pressure the family to mould the case in their favour.
"They were supposed to come to my office on Saturday morning. But out of nowhere thet switched off their cell phones and never reached my office," he said.