10-year-old’s rape: How UT police managed to tread a sensitive case

During the past three months, police were maintaining sensitivity of the case, counselling the child and her parents, while getting vital leads that made the difference

punjab Updated: Nov 01, 2017 12:59 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh rape,10-year-old's rape,rape

As the two uncles were held guilty of raping their 10-year-old niece by a fast-track court here on Tuesday, the challenges for the police were manifold.

The case had grabbed national headlines and witnessed horrifying twists and turns along its three and a half month journey.

Tajender Singh Luthra, director general of police, Chandigarh, said, “This was a very sensitive case for us considering the fact that the victim is a 10-year-old girl and the accused were closely related to her who had betrayed her as well as the family’s trust.”

Counselling of the child, as well as her family, to not just get crucial information about the rape accused, but also help them come out of the trauma, is what the Chandigarh police strived for during the investigations.

The mismatch of the DNA of the first accused (elder uncle) with the baby girl delivered by the 10-year-old rape survivor, had come as a setback for the Chandigarh police as the investigations were started afresh. Days after this, the other culprit, who turned out to be younger uncle and whose DNA matched with the baby, posed a major challenge.

Talking about the investigations and challenges, the DGP said, “Child was of such a tender age that she was unable to understand the trauma and we could not have gone beyond a point.”

“Even though the female investigating officer was handling the case but asking her about the crime was difficult. She was under trauma but she was unable to understand what she had undergone and thus could hardly convey the same,” added Luthra.

DNA mismatch turned the case

The DNA of the child delivered by the rape survivor had mismatched with that of the uncle working as a security guard who was first identified by the child.

“The DNA report was the biggest challenge as till now the 10-year-old had not hinted at involvement of any other accused. So identifying the 8 persons who would undergo DNA profiling was the most crucial,” said Deepak Yadav, DSP (south).

The special investigation team (SIT) was then constituted for further investigation of the 10-year-old girl’s rape case. DSP (women cell), Chepyala Anjitha; DSP (south), Deepak Yadav; inspector Gurjeet Kaur and Sector 39 SHO, inspector Rajdeep Singh, were part of the SIT.

Here inspector Gurjeet Kaur was appointed the new investigating officer as ASI Pratibha Devi, being on advanced stage of pregnancy, went on leave. The girl had developed a special rapport with Pratibha.

‘Had to ensure accused does not escape’

“The accused was related to the victim and he was a resident of Nepal and we made all the efforts to ensure that the accused does not escape from the city. Had he slipped, we would not have been able to arrest him as there isn’t an extradition treaty with Nepal,” said inspector Rajdeep Singh, SHO, Sector 39.

“The challenged was not to exact information but had to be done in such a way that the child does not undergo additional trauma while talking about the crime,” added SHO.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 12:59 IST