Activists and family members of the 30-year-old victim cry foul as the police claim that the woman wasn’t gang-raped and that a single man murdered her with his helmet after she fought back. Sharat Pradhan reports.
A day after Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said that the state had the lowest number of such cases in the country despite a population of 21 crore, the police have moved heaven and earth to retract its own theory of gang rape and murder of the 32-year-old woman in the Mohanlalganj area of Lucknow.
Initially, the Lucknow police had said that the woman had been gang-raped and then brutally murdered by three men. However, on Sunday, during a press conference, the police did a complete 360 on the case and said that not only had the woman not been gang-raped, but medical reports proved that she had resisted rape altogether.
“There was no rape; it was only a case of attempted rape and the woman died after excessive loss of blood owing to the heavy blows she sustained from her assailant,” said Additional Director General of police Sutapa Sanyal, adding, “The victim resisted the attempt to rape following which the accused hit her several time with his helmet and caused injuries to her private parts that led to excessive bleeding, and ultimately her death.”
Furthermore, Sanyal retracted her previous statement ‘there is one thing for sure that the heinous crime could not have been committed by less than three persons’ and said that the one security guard who had been arrested had carried out the crime on his own.
Cops further added on Sunday that Ram Sewak Yadav, the accused, had admitted that he had set his sights on the victim and had stolen a mobile phone and was using it to talk to the victim. “On the day of the crime, he confessed that he had used the phone, which was in the name of a Rajiv, and lured her out and taken her on a bike ride,” the authorities said.
However, what is strange is that the cops have been unable to answer how the woman remained fooled all the while she was on the bike with him. Additionally, wounds, which had earlier been described as ‘vengeful and evidence of a cruel mind’, had now been transformed into plain helmet wounds.
Activists, who question the investigation, complained how blows by a helmet on the vaginal region lead to fatal bleeding. Also, they asked why the man left the woman stark naked, with all her clothing in tatters? Further, how did he manage to gag her so that nobody could hear her screams of help?
Family members of the victim and other activists claim that there is something amiss about the investigations and that may be cops botched the investigations deliberately.
Unhappy with the investigations, family members of the victim have demanded demanded for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the matter. “The state capital police has taken the name of one other person but did not include him in its investigations. He is the boss of Ram Sewak, who was arrested by the police. The daughter of the victim has taken the name of the same person, who used to visit her place frequently but police has so far spared him,” the victim’s brother-in-law said.
Alleged that Lucknow police was shielding the guilty, the brother-in-law added, “We demand a CBI inquiry into the matter.”
Image: Mahila Congress members led by All India Mahila Morcha President Shobha Ojaha protest against Mohanlalganj rape issue in Lucknow. Photograph: PTI