The NDRF team is looking for the accused in Tawi river but has not met with any success so far, said officials.(PTI Photo)
The NDRF team is looking for the accused in Tawi river but has not met with any success so far, said officials.(PTI Photo)

POCSO accused jumps into river, leaves video alleging harassment behind

The accused said he was being framed by the mother of the minor.
Hindustan Times, Jammu | By Ravi Krishnan Khajuria | Edited by Abhinav Sahay
UPDATED ON AUG 26, 2020 02:59 PM IST

After a video clip, of a POCSO (Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences) Act accused, Akshay Kumar, jumping into a swollen Tawi River after accusing the police, health authorities and the complainant of harassing him went viral, the police has ordered a high level probe into the incident and promised not to spare anyone found guilty of driving him to possible death.

“An incident relating to a video with the heading ‘Frustrated youth... jumped over Tawi river, ended his life’ has come to our notice. We are deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident. A high-level enquiry into the matter to ascertain the facts and circumstances of the case, headed by SP City North, has been ordered. The responsible people will be strictly dealt under the law,” said a police spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that an FIR under section 309 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) has already been registered at Nowabad police station and an investigation has started.

The 25 year old youth, facing trial under section 376, 511 of the IPC and 7 of the POCSO Act, jumped off the third Tawi Bridge into the river on Tuesday afternoon alleging harassment by Janipur police, authorities of the government medical college and hospital and the mother of the minor rape survivor.

An electrician by profession, he professed his innocence and blamed the woman and her daughter of harassing him and driving him to the point of suicide.

Also Read: POCSO accused jumps into river, missing

In the video, he is heard claiming that the girl had voluntarily travelled with him to Amritsar, Jalandhar and many other places. He alleges he was falsely implicated under the POCSO act at the behest of the mother.

Shan Ahmad, his friend, said, “Around 1.45 pm on Tuesday, he jumped off the third bridge into the swollen Tawi River. At 1.42 pm, he sent me two videos from his cell phone wherein he clearly blamed administration, the health department and Pooja Mehra along with her daughter for his extreme step. He said that he was being harassed by the Janipur police station since morning for getting a Covid test conducted before being sent back to jail and also by the hospital authorities, who asked him to bring a police order for the purpose.”

The accused was on an interim bail since March 13 on humanitarian grounds, citing ill health of his father.

However, on Monday, the principal session judge Sanjeev Gupta refused to extend his bail citing the gravity of the crime and the critical juncture of the case, where statements of the survivor and her mother have to be recorded.

SHO Naresh Sharma said the requirement of getting a Coved-19 test done was as per the standard operating procedure and not because of any court order.

Also Read: Kathua woman succumbs to virus, family alleges medical negligence

“His bail had been refused and considering the crime he was asked to surrender before the jail authorities. Under the Covid protocol, he had to get himself tested for the virus before surrendering to the jail authorities as directed by the court. Had he not complied with the court order then we would have had to arrest him and produce before the court,” said the SHO.

The police officer added that the accused perhaps didn’t want to go to jail and hence was frustrated. A search was on for the youth, who had not been traced so far.

“Due to heavy rains Tawi River is in spate but we, along with the SDRF team, are still searching for him,” the SHO said.

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