Rape in cab: 2 days on, Mohali call centre employee recalls two hours of horror

The victim, who is from Himachal Pradesh and resides and works in Mohali, said the accused offered to give her a lift around 9:20am and she managed to escape around 11:15am on Monday.
(Representative image)
(Representative image)
Updated on Apr 17, 2019 10:42 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mohali | ByHT Correspondent

Two days after she was raped in a taxi on her way to office in Mohali, a 22-year-old call centre employee recounted the two hours of horror here on Wednesday.

In her statement before the magistrate, the victim, who is from Himachal Pradesh and resides and works in Mohali, said the accused offered to give her a lift around 9:20am and she managed to escape around 11:15am on Monday. Even though the woman claimed she did not recognise the man, she told police that he kept addressing her by her name.

The victim told police that she walks to her office from her paying guest accommodation in a nearby village daily.

“On Monday, a cab (Toyota Etios Liva) pulled close to her and the driver asked for an address. Later, he offered to drop her to her office. Unsuspecting, I sat in the car,” she told police.

However, instead of dropping her at the office, the accused allegedly took her to a secluded area near the Mohali municipal corporation office, stopped there for some time and then took a U-turn towards Sector 79/80 road and halted on a dilapidated road near Sambalki village, where he raped her.

“I told him that I want to vomit, upon which he opened the window and I jumped out while he was distracted by an approaching motorcycle. He threw my clothes out of the window and fled,” she told police.

The woman then reached the Sohana police station, where station house officer (SHO) Daljeet Singh failed to act and register a case. After the crime came to light on Tuesday, the cop was put under suspension and a case was registered under the unidentified man under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) late at night.

“We are collecting the footage of all cameras on the route taken by the accused. The victim claims she does not have a mobile phone and cannot recall the car number,” said HS Bhullar, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Mohali.

Suspended SHO, who failed to act, not new to controversy

Inspector Daljeet Singh, station house officer (SHO), Sohana, who was placed under suspension on Tuesday for failing to act on the complaint of a rape victim, is not new to controversy.

Despite being suspended, Daljeet was in the police station till 2:45pm on Wednesday.

“He has been suspended and a departmental inquiry has been ordered against him. He may have gone to the police station to hand over the charge,” said HS Bhullar, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Mohali.

The temporary charge of SHO has been handed over to assistant sub-inspector Naib Singh and a panel of names for regular appointment has been sent to the election commission for clearance.

Belonging to Jagraon in Ludhiana, Daljeet is a former sarpanch and is said to enjoy political patronage. He got recruited in police in 2000 on compassionate grounds after his father, a deputy superintendent of police with Punjab Police, was killed by terrorists.

At the time of recruitment, he had not revealed that a criminal case was pending against him. A departmental inquiry was also conducted on this issue. About five months back when Daljeet was shifted to Mohali, he wrote to the department complaining that he had not been paid the salary for the past 10 years.

When posted as the SHO, Mataur, he had closed the main gate of the police station, restricting entry. He is also facing a departmental inquiry after a head constable, Parwinder Singh, lodged a complaint with the chief minister and director general of police alleging that he had misbehaved with him on reporting five minutes late to work while returning from out of town. The inquiry is pending.

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