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Apna Ghar case: cops under scanner for shoddy probe

Apna Ghar building was sealed partially; former inquiry officer handed over case property to accused Jaswanti’s relative. Vishal Joshi reports.

india Updated: Jul 17, 2012 20:46 IST
Vishal Joshi
Vishal Joshi
Hindustan Times

The special investigation team (SIT) that probed the Apna Ghar sexual abuse case has accused the Rohtak district police of conducting a shoddy investigation and cast doubts over the functioning of district police officials.

According to the SIT report handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Rohtak police team led by deputy superintendent of police Tula Ram had recovered an SUV (sports utility vehicle), two laptops, three phones, three iron rods, agricultural implements, etc. from the shelter home on May 10, the day after the raid by a team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

However, Tula Ram’s team did not recover three central processing units (CPUs) and a bloodstained cloth sheet from the spot. These articles were recovered by the SIT on June 13 and sent for a forensic examination.

When the SIT visited the shelter home for the first time on June 8, it found that the building was sealed partially. A room on the top floor was sealed earlier, but the latch was found broken, which led to the suspicion that vital evidence might have been tampered with.

On May 10, the girl inmates had alleged and later submitted in the court that they were subjected to sexual assault and that main accused Jaswanti Devi and her daughter Sushma, alias Simmi, used to make their pornographic films and photos. It was also alleged that the accused had used cell phones and cameras for recording purposes.

But the Rohtak police kept the seized laptops with themselves before sending them for a forensic examination on June 20, several days after the SIT took over the probe. The case is now being investigated by the CBI.

The SIT report stated that in the status report submitted to the director general of police (DGP) and other authorities on June 11, superintendent of police (SP) Vivek Sharma did not mention the recovery of laptops and mobile phones.

It was on the basis of the call details from Jaswanti’s phone that the SIT report found that she was in touch with local additional deputy commissioner RC Bidhan at the time when her shelter home was raided on May 9.

Former case investigating officer Bhim Singh Ranga, who retired recently, was arrested by the SIT on the suspicion of destroying evidence and having an involvement in the sexual abuse of inmates. Ranga had illegally handed over the case property, including cell phones and laptops, to Jaswanti’s relative Dayananad.

When the NCPCR team had raided the shelter home, Ranga was already present there under suspicious circumstances. Ranga had allegedly threatened inmates not to give statements against Jaswanti. The latter’s call details established that she used her cell phone in police custody on May 10 and 11.

First Published: Jul 17, 2012 20:43 IST