Wednesday, 28 September, 2022
HomeIndiaGovernanceWoman 'gang-raped by 40-50 men' in Haryana was 'called prostitute' by police

Woman ‘gang-raped by 40-50 men’ in Haryana was ‘called prostitute’ by police

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Two people, including a man who kept her confined after allegedly abducting her on the promise of a job, have been arrested.

Chandigarh: A 22-year-old married woman from Chandigarh was allegedly raped by 40-50 men as she was held captive at a guest house in a village near Haryana’s Morni Hills, a tourist spot, for four days. According to the woman, she was administered sedatives throughout to keep her semi-conscious.

She was allegedly also called a “prostitute” by the police personnel at the women’s station she and her husband first approached in Panchkula.

Two people involved in running the guest house have been arrested since a case was filed Thursday night in Chandigarh, while police continue their investigation into claims that there were other women on the premises who were meted out the same treatment. The duo arrested has been identified as Sunny, who runs the Lovely Guest House in village Kaimbwala on rented premises, and Avtar, a staffer.

The victim told police that Sunny, who was known to her husband, had promised her a job as a maid at the guest house for Rs 12,000 a month. But when she went with him to start work on 15 July, she added, she was locked up in a room and repeatedly raped by 10-12 men each day, including Sunny, Avtar and other staffers at the property.

The couple claims that she was finally let off on the night of 18 July after the woman’s husband, unable to get through to her over the past three days, called up Sunny and threatened to approach police.

Her ordeal, however, did not end there. When the couple went to lodge a complaint at the special police station for women in Panchkula Thursday, no action was taken and she was advised to approach Chandigarh police. A case was registered after they approached police in Chandigarh that night.

‘Turned away’

Haryana has courted notoriety of late as India’s ‘gang rape’ capital, recording more instances than any other part of the country. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has promised a stringent crackdown on crime against women, but the couple’s alleged experience at the women’s police station in Panchkula suggests continued administrative apathy towards the malaise.

The Panchkula commissioner of police, inspector general (IG) Charu Bali, said the woman assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the station in question had been suspended. She added that the personnel in charge of the police posts at Ramgarh and Morni were suspended as well, for failing to keep a check on local guest houses despite directives to this effect.

No action has, however, been taken against the SHO of the women’s police station or the Panchkula assistant commissioner of police, both of whom were informed about the victim’s complaint by the ASI.

Bali constituted a special investigating team (SIT) to probe the case after it was taken over by Panchkula police Friday evening. Additional superintendent of police (ASP) Anshu Singla will head the SIT.

‘She wanted to return right away’

Speaking to the media outside a police station Friday afternoon, the victim’s husband, a tailor, said she had expressed a desire to return almost as soon as she reached the guest house, but went incommunicado after that.

“When I called her that day (15 July), she said she was not fine and wanted to return. She said she was unhappy and will not work here,” he said.

According to him, when subsequent efforts to contact her failed, he started calling up Sunny.

“Sunny kept telling me that he was at Ambala. At times he did not pick up the phone. At one point he said I might not be able to see my wife ever,” he said.

“Finally, when I threatened him on 18 July that I’m going to police, he agreed to let my wife go. He put her on a bus and called me to pick her up at Panchkula,” the husband added.

Two of the ‘rapists introduced as cops’

All this while, his wife was living a nightmare. The victim told her husband and police that soon after she arrived at the guest house, which “seemed to be used only for shady activities”, she was locked in a room.

She was allegedly given sedatives in her food and 10-12 men were sent to her room every day “to rape her”. The day she reached the guest house, she added, she was raped by Sunny, Avtar and other staffers, with other men brought in over the subsequent days.

“One day, when my wife told Sunny that she would report the matter to police, Sunny brought two men in civil clothes, saying they were policemen from Haryana. He said he had friends in police and no one will take action against him. Then the two men also raped her,” said the victim’s husband.

When he got word from Sunny that he had let her go, the husband dialed 100 but was allegedly told that nothing could be done till the woman reached Panchkula.

“When she reached, she was in a very bad shape. She immediately said she was not well and needed to go to a hospital. We rushed to the government hospital in Panchkula. We called the 100 number again and this time we were told to visit the woman’s police station,” he said.

The ASI at the station met the couple and allegedly asked them to give her a photostat copy of the complaint, not the original one.

“We were told that we should approach Chandigarh police for action. So many hours were wasted in doing all this,” he said.

At the Chandigarh police station, SHO Ranjit Singh got the victim’s medical examination conducted, and Sunny alias Sunil, a resident of Kurukshetra, and Avtar, of Jhansi in UP, arrested.

Chandigarh deputy superintendent of police Satish Kumar said the medical examination had confirmed rape.

Bali said the victim was in a fraught state. “A team of doctors and counselors talked to her through the day, Friday. We are joining the dots based on the information she is giving us. But we are not pushing the victim in this state. The first priority is to ensure that she is fine,” she said.

Investigation continues

A search operation at the guest house, which has since been sealed, reportedly led police to discover empty liquor bottles, used condoms, and empty sachets of viagra tablets. Police have also seized footage from the CCTV cameras installed at the gate.

The victim’s husband said his wife claimed there were “other women in other rooms of the guest house”. “Other girls were also brought there and used like this,” he added.

According to police, Sunny had taken the guest house on rent and the property had become functional some months ago.

Panchkula deputy commissioner of police Rajender Meena said there were standing orders to personnel to routinely check guest houses in the Morni Hills area.

“These guest houses need to be registered and maintain a register of who uses them,” he said, adding that action will be initiated against anyone, including police personnel, found to be negligent on this account.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Whether violation of women, sometimes accompanied by violence and brutality, or the more recent scourge of lynchings, these are signs of growing social anarchy and a breakdown of human decency. Not everything can be fixed by the police, true, but the state which employs them, is failing in its most basic duty of keeping its citizens safe. In many states, the CM also holds the home portfolio. He should step out boldly when such a crime takes place, leave the force, DGP downwards, in no doubt that he takes such incidents personally, wants the perpetrators strung up in the police station for “ sustained interrogation “ within 24 hours. Wishy Washy.

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