New Delhi: The family of the victim in the Muzaffarnagar gangrape case has now accused the Uttar Pradesh police of physical torture and abuse, three months after the 21-year-old allegedly committed suicide.
The case surfaced in October last year, when the woman killed herself and named four of her relatives for traumatising her sexually and mentally. No arrests have been made so far. This came four years after she was raped by three boys of her Badhiwala village in August 2015 — all out on bail.
Now, the victim’s family has accused the UP police of beating them up inside the Chhapar police station, located 10 km from the village, Thursday.
“In the police station they abused us like anything. They have been bribed by the accused family (his relatives). So while abusing us they said we allow our girls to get raped in lieu of money. They also used several cuss words that I can’t even mention to you,” the victim’s father told ThePrint.
The family showed pictures of the victim’s sister with swollen cheeks.
The father said the police had called on his family on 28 December to visit the police station to make a statement.
“My son was severely ill after he met an accident. I informed them by phone that we were in hospital and would come to the police station after reaching home. I reached home on 8 January and called them the next morning to enquire about the timings. After about an hour and a half, another call came from the police station and I was asked to bring my wife and daughter too,” he explained.
“On the same day, between 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm, we were severely thrashed inside the police station. My daughter was beaten by the CO (circle officer) and another female constable. We were abused too,” said the father.
He added that in between all this, the station house officer (SHO) left the police station due to some accident. “But we were forced to sit (and wait) in separate rooms for about five hours.”
However, Pawan Kumar Sharma, SHO, Chhapar police station, denied these allegations.
“Yesterday, they had come on their own. No such alleged beating of the family by us ever took place. In fact, it was (the victim’s father) who threatened us and showed tantrums,” Sharma told ThePrint Friday.
“This family had written a similar complaint letter against the previous SHO too with a ploy to extort money from him. Now they are playing the same trick with me. On that day I had gone out to investigate an accident case,” he added.
The latest allegation is the second such by the family. Earlier in October, the father had told ThePrint that his family was tortured by then SHO H.N. Singh around Diwali. Singh had also denied the charges by raising doubts over the family’s motives.
On 5 October last year, the 21-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide in Badhiwala village of Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, but not before disclosing the names of four of her relatives — her maternal uncle, maternal aunt, father’s uncle and the uncle’s daughter-in-law.
Her ordeal came four years after she was raped by three boys from the same village. A case was registered against the three under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, but the accused are out on bail.
Speaking to ThePrint, the victim’s father said he could not properly fight the 2015 case due to lack of resources. On several occasions he failed to appear in court and as a result, the victim’s case was weakened.
Months after the gangrape, the victim’s maternal uncle also allegedly raped her, taking advantage of her distressed state.
After she reportedly killed herself, the Chhapar police registered a case against the four relatives under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
‘Injustice to dead daughter’
SHO Pawan Kumar Sharma said none of the accused in the second case has been arrested yet.
“Earlier the case was with SSI (special sub-inspector) Suresh Pal Singh. I was recently transferred here and then the case was given to me. I have started investigating the case from the very beginning.
“I have sent the victim’s suicide note to be matched with her original handwriting to Agra,” he said.
Sharma said he found the case suspicious as he could not believe the version presented by the victim’s family — that her maternal aunt was in getting her raped by her maternal uncle. According to Sharma, the victim’s father tried to extort money from the accused and settle the matter.
However, the victim’s father has a different story to tell. He said the whole village was against his family.
“The accused families tried to put pressure on us to sign an agreement and withdraw the case… It would an injustice to my dead daughter. That is why I have written to DIG (deputy inspector general) Saharanpur that I will commit suicide if my daughter doesn’t get justice,” he said.
However, Muzaffarnagar police insisted that the father is trying to blackmail the force, and his past record is doubtful.