High court seeks report on Haryana woman's rape, suicide
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Haryana government to file a reply within two weeks on what led to a young woman from Rohtak town to commit suicide at the state police headquarters on Monday.
Taking suo moto notice of media reports, the high court asked the state government to explain how would it ensure fair probe into the rape of Sarita by two policemen in a Rohtak town police station April this year that forced her to commit suicide at the state police headquarters this week.
The high court issued directions to the state government on Thursday to file its reply within two weeks. The next hearing has been fixed for July 2.
A high court vacation bench in Chandigarh expressed apprehension that the probe against the two Haryana police constables, arrested on charges of raping Sarita in a Rohtak police station April 10, would not be fair.
It stated that every effort would be made by the state police, which is investigating the matter, to save senior officers who were equally to blame for the lapses after her rape.
Scores of people, including women and children, on Friday protested outside the Haryana police headquarters at Panchkula, 10 km from Chandigarh, against the state government and police inaction in the rape and suicide case.
The protesters, rallied by the opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), burnt the effigies of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal.
Sarita had consumed a poisonous pesticide in the office of Haryana's additional director general of police (law and order) V.B. Singh June 9 in the presence of her two small daughters after accusing the Rohtak police, the home district of the chief minister, of shielding the policemen who raped her inside a police station.
She gave a suicide note to the ADGP before committing suicide. She died later in hospital.
The Haryana policemen, head constable Balraj and constable Seelak Ram, were arrested on Wednesday. An embarrassed Haryana government transferred the Rohtak range Inspector General Anil Dawra, Superintendent of Police Hanif Qureshi and Deputy Superintendent of Police Dheeraj Sethi after Sarita committed suicide.
Sarita took the extreme step at the state police headquarters on Monday after the Rohtak police for several days refused to register a rape case against the two policemen. Her complaint was finally registered May 31, 50 days after the rape.