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SHO arrested in UP for ‘raping 13-year-old who filed gang-rape case’, now police station under probe

The incident, which comes days after a 24-year-old woman was allegedly beaten to death at her home by police in Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh, has caused a political uproar in the state.

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Lucknow: A station house officer (SHO), Tilak Dhari Saroj, has been arrested and suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl who had come to Pali police station in Lalitpur district, Uttar Pradesh, to register a complaint of gang rape against four men.

Speaking to mediapersons, Lalitpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Nikhil Pathak said that the minor was brought to the police station Monday by her mother to register a complaint against four men who had allegedly gang-raped the child.

“After the gang rape, she alleged that the police station in-charge also raped her. An FIR (first information report) has been registered in the entire case, naming six persons,” the SP said, adding that teams had been formed to arrest all the accused.

So far, four accused have been arrested, including the SHO. The entire police station is now under the scanner too.

Additional Director General of Police (ADG-law and order) Prashant Kumar has said that UP Director General of Police (DGP) Mukul Goel has directed the Jhansi Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Jogendra Kumar to conduct a departmental inquiry to probe “under which circumstances allegations have been levelled against the police officers”, including “faults” if any, on part of the supervising officers, including the SP.

“Nobody will be spared,” Kumar said.

The incident, which has come days after a 24-year-old woman was allegedly beaten to death at her home by police in Chandauli, has caused a political uproar in the state, with Opposition leaders across party lines criticising the law-and-order situation in UP.


Also Read: UP Police book SHO & several cops for culpable homicide after Chandauli woman ‘beaten to death


What the FIR says

According to the FIR lodged in connection with the case on 3 May, the alleged rape by SHO Tilak Dhari Saroj came to light when the minor was being counselled by the district Childline unit about the gang rape.

The FIR, which ThePrint has accessed, was lodged by the girl’s mother and describes a harrowing series of events.

The complainant has stated that, on 22 April, four young men — identified as Chandan, Rajbhan, Harishankar, and Mahendra Chaurasia — “coaxed” the girl into accompanying them to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, which is on the border with Lalitpur.

“They allegedly stayed along with the minor in the lanes near a railway station and continuously raped her in hiding,” the FIR says.

Four days later, on 26 April, the accused allegedly left the girl at Pali police station, after which she was handed over to her maternal aunt. The aunt then “sent the girl to Kakdari village for two days with the sister of Chandan — one of the accused”, the FIR reads.

On 27 April, the girl was again called to the police station to record her statement. It was during this visit that the SHO allegedly raped her.

“In the same evening, the girl’s aunt handed her over to the SHO Tilak Dhari Saroj… [who] took her to his room and raped her. He then again handed over the girl to her aunt,” the FIR states, adding that the child’s parents were kept in the dark throughout these events.

On 30 April, the girl returned to the police station, where she was sent for counselling by Childline officials. It was during the course of counselling that she said the SHO had raped her too, the FIR says.

The FIR has been lodged against the four gang-rape accused as well as SHO Tilak Dhari Saroj under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 363 (kidnapping), 376 (rape), 376-b (intercourse by public servant with woman in his custody), and sections 3 and 4 of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.

The girl’s maternal aunt has also been booked under Section 120-b (criminal conspiracy).

So far, four of the accused, including SHO Saroj, have been arrested. In addition, all the police personnel at the Pali station have been attached with the police lines for the purpose of a departmental inquiry.

Opposition hits out

Opposition leaders across party lines have slammed the Yogi Adityanath government about the law-and-order situation in the state.

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and Leader of the Opposition Akhilesh Yadav, who is expected to meet the family of the minor in Lalitpur, tweeted Wednesday that “not only should justice be served at people’s doors but at times, one has to visit people’s doors to seek justice for them”.

 

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also targeted the government, tweeting: “The gang rape of a 13-year-old girl in Lalitpur who was then raped by a SHO after taking a complaint shows how genuine law-and-order reforms are being suppressed in the noise of ‘bulldozers’. If police stations are not safe for women, then where will they take complaints?”

 

The Aam Aadmi Party’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge Sanjay Singh also lashed out at the police.

 

Directly addressing the CM, he wrote: “Aditynathji, your police killed a daughter in Chandauli and raped a minor in Lalitpur. Who will bulldoze the barbarians in khaki?” he asked.

(Edited by Asavari Singh)


Also Read: ‘If a girl is alone, she’s not so believable’: Bihar’s mahila thanas are no place for women


 

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