Two girls, both 17, were kidnapped and raped in the past 24 hours here. One was gangraped allegedly in a moving car on Friday night by two estranged relatives, while the other assaulted after being kidnapped while sleeping at home.
The first victim was intercepted while driving home from market on a scooter. The five accused, all related to the minor, include her sister-in-law. The first-information report (FIR) registered at the city police station names Jaggi, Sandeep, and Ranjit Kaur of Kapurthala among those identified. The motive for the crime is said to be revenge for the family's dispossessing the victim's brother, who is husband of accused Ranjit Kaur.
The charges laid are under Sections 323 (punishment for causing hurt voluntarily), 427 (mischief causing a petty amount of damage), 366 (abducting a woman to compel her for marriage), 376 (punishment for rape), and 120-B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); and Sections 4 (punishment for penetrative sexual assault) and 8 (punishment for sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Around 9pm at the market, the girl was knocked off her scooter with a Maruti van and pulled inside. "Two men raped me in the moving van, and around half past midnight, left me in the grain market," she told the police. At 11pm, the family had started searching for her and approached the police. Later in the night, it found her in the grain market and brought her to the civil hospital, where doctors declined to admit her, saying there should be a woman cop along.
"Around 1am, I went to the police station to lodge a complaint, but nobody opened the door," said the victim's father, adding: "At my constant pleading, the doctors agreed finally to admit my daughter, while police reached the hospital around 2.30am." Kapurthala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rajinder Singh said three accused had been arrested, while the rest would be caught after inquiry.
In the other case, two people kidnapped their victim from her house on Friday night before the assault. "I was asleep in the lobby along with my family when Kulvir Singh and Gurmeet Singh (of Thikrival village in Kapurthala) kidnapped me; and Kulvir then raped me," she told the police. Main accused Kulvir Singh is under arrest and the police have registered a case against him under Sections 376 (punishment for rape), 366-A (procreation of a minor girl) and 120-B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the IPC at Kotwali police station here.
For want of the victim's birth certificate, the police are yet to add POCSO Act sections to the FIR.