Gangs involved in flesh trade in Haryana fixing clients in fake rape cases
In what the police describe as “honeytraps or extortion rackets”, the number of rape related complaints that at the initial stage of investigation are turning out to be a “trap to target the customer” are on the rise.Updated: Sep 26, 2018 09:38 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Karnal
Gangs dabbling in flesh trade and fixing their clients in fake rape cases to extort money are on the prowl in the state, according to the police.
In what the police describe as “honeytraps or extortion rackets”, the number of rape related complaints that at the initial stage of investigation are turning out to be a “trap to target the customer” are on the rise. At least one fake rape case a week has been reported this year so far.
“This year alone the police have detected 37 honeytrap cases, which will fall flat. About 20% of the rape cases every year are being cancelled as they are found false during investigation,” said BS Sandhu, director general of police (DGP).
The police say that such fake rape complaints pose another challenge to the already grappling investigators as far as cases of crime against women are concerned, especially with the alarming rise in rapes and gangrapes.
Worse still, every new rape complaint — whether genuine or fake — turns out to be worse than the previous one in terms of brutality and audacity of the crime.
Truth or lie?
Last week, a woman of Rewari walked into a police station in Jind alleging that she was ‘gangraped’. The case turned out to be the latest instance of fixing the prey in fake rape FIR. The woman, police say, was demanding Rs 2 lakh from a 58-year-old farmer, to withdraw the complaint.
“We arrested her red-handed along with another woman and a man while she was receiving Rs 2 lakh from her client,” a Jind police official said.
The officer added, “However, in the beginning, it appeared to be a genuine rape case. The FIR was registered against two people. Suspicion arose as the woman refused to undergo medical examination and also refused to record her statement before the magistrate.”
The rape accused farmer, police said, furnished a call record to prove it was the woman who was frequently calling him. “Finally, we trapped the woman and her accomplices,” a police investigator said.
In another case close on the heels of the Jind case, on September 22, police arrested three people, including a woman, while extorting Rs 5 lakh from a man in Kaithal by threatening to implicate him in a fake rape case.
AS Chawla, additional director general of police (operations) said, “Dealing with honeytrap cases is a new challenge. The frequency of such cases is on the rise.”
Cops hand in glove
Not only are the ‘honeytraps’ gangs active, but sometimes policemen are also involved in these rackets. For example, in July this year, a sub-inspector in Bhiwani was awarded five-year jail for helping a woman trap a trader in a false rape case in 2013.
On May 24, the vigilance bureau arrested a driver of Hisar’s women police station in-charge, who was involved in extorting money to settle a rape case while the gang was allegedly run by the woman SHO.
Police say that earlier this month, a senior employee of the Hisar-based Agricultural University was accused of raping the minor daughter of his maid. The maid later began demanding Rs 25 lakh to settle the case, police said.
“The police nabbed all the accused red-handed while accepting Rs 10 lakh to withdraw the case. The court sent all the accused to jail,” Sandeep Kumar, inspector, who investigated the case, said, pointing out that the accused doctor had recorded the conversation in which the woman was demanding money to withdraw the rape case.
In the first week of January, police had busted at least five honeytrap gangs operating in Bhiwani, Rohtak, Sirsa and Jhajjar. Their modus operandi was to lodge false rape cases against men and extort money.
In Rohtak district, the police had arrested a brother-sister duo who were demanding Rs 95 lakh from a city-based contractor to withdraw a false rape case, while in Bhiwani, police arrested a woman and a man for demanding Rs 6.5 lakh from Tosham youth to withdraw the rape complaint, which was false, against him.
How fake victims get caught
The cops involved in investigation of these cases said the common modus operandi of these ‘fake rape victims’ is that they delay recording their statement before the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC to hammer out a deal with the ‘accused’.
“Police have to record the statement of the rape victim as fast as possible, but we cannot force the complainant,” said a senior police officer. Haryana Human Rights Commission chairman justice SK Mittal (retd) said, “We are ready to provide assistance if the victim writes to us about any false case. We take action if we get a complaint from anybody.”
Recent fake rape cases
September 22: Three people, including a woman, arrested for extorting Rs 5 lakh from a man in Kaithal by threatening to file a false rape case against him.
September 17: Hailing from Rewari, a woman alleged that she was gangraped in Jind where she had gone to purchase medicines. Case turned out to be false.
September 11: A maid of a Hisar-based doctor, her minor daughter, son and a middleman arrested for taking Rs 10 lakh to withdraw a ‘fake’ rape complaint against the doctor.
July 31: Yamunanagar police arrested a woman for alleged extortion and blackmailing a youth, who had already paid her Rs 4 lakh
May 9: A woman and two men arrested for extorting Rs 5 lakh from a 65-year-old man in a honeytrap case.
April 28: Panipat police arrested three women and a man who were blackmailing a man and threatening to file a false rape case against him lest he paid Rs10 lakh.
February 20: Kurukshetra police arrested a gang of four, including two women as they tried to extort Rs 2 lakh from a liquor contractor
January: Jhajjar police nabbed 3 women for making obscene video of youth and demanding Rs 1.5 lakh.
January: In Rohtak, brother-sister duo held for demanding Rs 95 lakh from contractor to withdraw false rape case.
January: In Bhiwani, a woman was among 2 arrested for demanding Rs 6.5 lakh and 150 sq yard plot to withdraw false rape case
January: In Sirsa, 2 women among 5 arrested for making obscene video of man, demanding Rs 10 lakh.
January: In Jind, Punjab couple arrested for demanding Rs 25 lakh from youth to withdraw false rape case against him.
First Published: Sep 26, 2018 09:36 IST