SIT of women cops to probe Bathinda rape, extortion case against ASI
High court pulls up district police, sets up three-member team to look into woman’s complaint against ASI
The Punjab and Haryana high court has constituted a three-member special investigation team (SIT), comprising women officials led by additional director general of police (ADGP) Gurpreet Kaur Deo, to probe the role of staff of the crime investigation agency-1 (CIA) of Bathinda police in two criminal cases.
Justice Arun Monga pulled up the Bathinda police administration for forming an all-men’s team to investigate charges of rape and extortion against cops by a 38-year-old woman.
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He directed Prabhjot Kaur, the deputy superintendent of police, Budhlada, Mansa, to investigate two cases of rape and extortion by cops to absolve the woman’s son in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) case. Prabhjot will report to Muktsar SSP D Sudarvizhi, while Deo will head the investigation, the court ordered on Tuesday.
An assistant sub-inspector (ASI), Gurvinder Singh, was caught on camera while allegedly raping a widow at her house on May 11.
The woman petitioner alleged that her ailing son was implicated in a criminal case after she turned down sexual favours sought by Gurvinder, posted in CIA-1. The ASI arrested the woman’s son, who she claims is suffering from Covid-19, with 400gm of opium and booked him on May 6.
After the son’s arrest, the woman was sexually assaulted by the accused cop twice.
The accused cop was caught on camera in a compromising position with the woman at her house at a village under the Nathana police station area.
After the matter was reported to the police, Gurvinder was arrested and dismissed from service on May 12.
Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) BS Virk formed a three-member SIT under SP (headquarters) SP Singh. After dismissing the ASI, Virk said that the SIT will look into allegations that the woman’s son was implicated, and money was demanded.
Alleging a shoddy probe, the aggrieved woman approached the court on May 18, demanding a probe against the other seven members of the CIA-1, who allegedly planted the contraband at her home after which the police personnel demanded sexual favours.
In her petition, she alleged that CIA team extorted ₹1.6 lakh on two occasions after her son’s arrest. But the Bathinda police avoided recorded statements on these charges and thus refrained from collecting evidence, she said in her petition.
The court observed: “It is deplorable to see the insensitiveness with which the (Bathinda) district police officials have acted in constituting the SIT having all male members.”
Accepting the plea, the court ordered the Bathinda chief judicial magistrate (CJM) to get the forensic science laboratory (FSL) report with regard to the audio and video recordings made by the petitioner from her cell phone. It shall be treated as part of the case property, it added.