Chandigarh autorickshaw horror: Gangrape may have been averted if cops were more vigilant, says court
‘Police must remember to strike a balance and ensure all kinds of criminal activities are averted’punjab Updated: Nov 23, 2017 11:29 IST
A day after a 21-year-old woman, who was raped last week allegedly by an autorickshaw driver and two others, recorded her statement in a Chandigarh district court, the judicial magistrate (first class) observed in an order that the crime “could have been averted by the Chandigarh Police had it been more vigilant and had there been proper management of manforce available”.
Magistrate Jaspreet Singh directed the senior superintendent of police (SSP) and the station house officer (SHO) to further investigate some leads. He told SHO Gurjeet Kaur as well as the investigating officer to visit the city’s government hospitals as it was learnt that the auto driver’s two-year-old daughter was admitted to one.
And he further asked for expediting of search for the accused, saying that the victim does not remember the registration number of the autorickshaw and would only be able to recognise the accused if produced before her. Any delay might result in fading of memory of the victim, the magistrate said.
‘Nakas fine... step up patrolling too’
About law-enforcement, the court observed that the police were “more focused to curb one particular crime as cops could be seen laying nakas covering main roads of the city to check drunken driving”.
Saying that this checking had “helped in decrease in such offences”, the magistrate observed that the police must also identify public spaces “that have the potential of being a place to commit crime” as this was “not the first time wherein a girl had been subjected to the gratification of pervert lust in public place”.
The court said that in the past year there have been several cases wherein auto drivers committed heinous crimes with passengers in secluded public places. “Police must remember to strike a balance and ensure all kinds of criminal activities are averted,” the magistrate further observed.
Referring to how negligence could lead to “serious ramifications”, the court observed that this was violating the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The IO and SHO were also directed to collect the CCTV camera footage of the petrol pump where the driver got the tank fuelled before committing the crime, and also to circulate posters carrying his photos.
‘Visit only with permission’
Instructions were also given that no police official would visit the house of the victim and if need be, a prior call must be made to the victim to meet her at her convenience and to ensure that her identity remained protected as media was visiting her too.
The magistrate has also written a letter to SSP Nilambri Jagdale to ensure “proper” patrolling. He has urged her to keep an eye on the jungle areas on the periphery of the city. The SSP, when contacted, said, “We are already working in the points raised in the letter.”