The driver of a gurdwara management committee chief has been arrested for repeatedly raping a 19-year-old woman on the gurdwara premises and stalking her even after her marriage. The accused, Tarlochan Singh, 43, works as a driver with Jaswant Singh, head of gurdwara management committee, Gurdwara Nanaksar, Chandigarh road.
In her complaint, the victim told the police that she and her brother had been living at the gurdwara for the past two years as their parents had abandoned them. At the gurdwara, she was given the duty of washing clothes of devotees, for which she used to go to Tarlochan's room on the gurdwara premises where a washine machine was kept. Whenever she went to the room, Tarlochan forced her to see obscene images and videos on his mobile phone, and raped her. He continued to repeat the crime for four months, until she left the shrine after getting married in August.
However, even after marriage, Tarlochan continued to stalk her, and used to make obscene gestures at her whenever she visited the gurdwara with her in-laws. Eventually her in-laws came to know of the matter and her past, following which she approached the police.
Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Bhajan Singh, who is investigating the matter, said the police arrested Tarlochan immediately after registering a case under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The accused has been living separately from his wife due to strained marital discord. A divorce case is sub-judice.
The victim was only three when her parents got separated, and her brother and she started living with their father. Later, her father got married again. However, when she turned 17, her father and stepmother abandoned her brother and her, and left them in the care of the gurdwara. While she started volunteering in menial jobs at the gurdwara, her brother got a job at a dental college.