Four out of five victims who were allegedly sodomised by the tainted theatre artist, Zulfiqar Khan, have expressed life threat by Khan’s close aide.
In a complaint, which was addressed to the inspector general of police and submitted on Wednesday at the UT police window, victims have alleged that they are being pressurised to withdraw the complaint against Khan or else they would be killed.
The victims have named three people, including Zulfiqar’s nephew Lala, in their complaint, accusing them of threatening them. “Moreover one Geeta, Neeraj and Lala alias Itihar Khan are constantly pressurising us to withdraw our complaints. They are torturing and threatening us. The police should take action against them and safeguard our lives and future,” said the victims.
One of the victim (20) who works at a mobile service station and is pursuing BA from a private college, while talking to HT, said Lala, who is at large, Geeta, who was a student of Zulfiqar earlier and Neeraj came to their house and locked all rooms, following which they threatened them to withdraw their complaints.
Meanwhile, a senior police official said he was yet to receive the complaint.
In their complaint to the police, the victims have stated, “We are the residents of house number 2898, Sector 25 D, Chandigarh, and are the victims in Zulfiqar sodomy case. Khan bought this house with the finances earned from operations of his NGO with the name of Theatre Age. We are residing here from the past five years. Now, we are being forced to vacate the house and we do not have any other shelter. We also study here in the same house, but we have repeatedly been asked to vacate it.”
Earlier, one of the complainants in the sodomy case on Monday had submitted an application in the local court, claiming that he was nowhere in the pictures produced by the police as part of the challan and moreover, the police never recorded his statement. The court has asked the police to file a reply on November 2.
Zulfiqar, director of Theatre Age, who is behind bars since his arrest in July, had allegedly sexually exploited at least five inmates of the NGO, including a minor, in the last about 12 years. He was arrested on July 11 for allegedly having unnatural sex with his students on the basis of the complaint of Kanwarpal, a former student-cum-associate of Zulfiqar.
The police had on September 8 filed a challan under Sections 377 (unnatural offences), 292 (sale of obscene books), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC and Section 8 and 5 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The police had submitted the 360-page challan that carrys the victims’ statements and spelling out the torturous tales of their sexual exploitation. The challan lists 34 witnesses, including police officials, doctors, five complainants and a magistrate.