The mother of 16-year-old rape victim has alleged that the relatives of the accused, who purportedly belong to a political party, offered them Rs 8 lakh to settle the case.
Alleging that police officials were playing into the hands of politicians, she said the police had been harassing them by calling her daughter to police station in the name of joining "reinvestigation". This, despite chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's orders that police cannot call a rape victim to police station for carrying investigation.
The 16-year-old victim was reportedly working for businessman Harbans Dhall as a maid for the past three years on a monthly salary of Rs 1,500.
On September 25 last year, the victim in her complaint to the police said Dhall allegedly raped her several times when he was alone at home and threatened her with dire consequences if she told others of this.
She said after her health started deteriorating in the first week of September, her mother informed the Dhalls that she would not work for them anymore due to ill health.
On September 15, Dhall's wife and daughter-in-law came to the victim's house and took her to a private hospital, where doctors found that she was pregnant. She was forced her to undergo an abortion.
A case was registered against Harbans Dhall, his wife and daughter in-law, and Dr Amrit Kaur under various sections of the Indian Penal Code on September 25.
Apparently bursting into tears, the victim's mother accused the commissionerate police for failing to arrest the accused even after 168 days of the registration of the case.
The woman said she was called to police station on Tuesday. When she reached the police station, police officials asked her to go o home and bring her daughter along.
"I am fighting to get justice for my daughter. I have been receiving threat calls since. The callers often abuse me for settling the case," she said.
She claimed that such calls continued despite she changed her mobile number.
One of the relatives of the accused, she further alleged, threatened her with dire consequences outside the court. She said her daughter was suffering from abdominal pain and was undergoing treatment.
Since her husband was no more, her daughter was the only breadwinner of the family, the woman said.
She said the police had adopted a soft attitude towards the accused under political pressure and were going for a re-inquiry into the case.
She said they were suffering from mental trauma due to this.
The district administration, on the other hand, has not recommended relief fund to the rape victim even after getting a case report from the police and has failed to arrange education and counselling for her.
HT tried to contact the Bhargo Camp SHO but did not get response.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Rahul S said that he was not aware about of the matter, saying it was totally wrong if the Bhargo Camp police called the victim's mother to police station.
The DCP further said the police should investigate rape and other crime against women cases seriously and they needed to be more sensitive.
He said that an inquiry would be ordered into the incident. "The police will offer protection to the victim's family if we receive any complaint of threat calls," he said.
Police commissioner Ishwar Singh said, "We have arrest warrants for all the four persons who were booked in the case. We will arrest them soon."
On September 25, the 16-year-old victim, who was working at businessman Harbans Dhall's house as a maid, told the police that Dhall had raped her several times
She said in her complaint that on September 15, Dhall's wife and daughter-in-law came to her house and took her to a private hospital. After finding her pregnant, she was forced her to undergo an abortion.