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Rape case: Haryana cracks the whip on errant cops

June 11, 2008 21:15 IST

Under fire for police inaction over alleged rape of a woman by two constables and her subsequent suicide, Haryana government on Wednesday cracked the whip transferring 24 policemen, including three senior officers, and suspending two other men in uniform.

Rohtak Range Inspector General Anil Dabra, District Superintendent of police Hanief Qureshi and Deputy Superintendent of Police Dheeraj Setia were transferred on the charge of failing to take timely action against accused constables Balraj Singh and Silak Ram, who had allegedly raped a 28-year-old woman in Rohtak on April 10.

State Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal told a media conference here that 21 policemen at the Crime Investigation Agency office in Rohtak, where the two accused policemen had raped the woman, were also shifted to police lines.

Ram Kumar, an inspector and investigating the rape of the woman, and Head Constable Ramphal were suspended, the DGP said.

The woman committed suicide at the state police headquarters in Panchkula on June 9 expressing her frustration that no action has been taken against the accused.

The FIR in the rape case was registered 50 days after the rape incident and that too after the victim and her husband Subhash ran from pillar to post approaching senior officers pleading that action be taken against the guilty who had been roaming free.

It was only after the three senior policemen were shifted that Subhash cremated his wife's mortal remains in Rohtak.

He had earlier in the day told reporters in Rohtak that he would not cremate his wife until the guilty policemen were arrested.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said in a statement in Chandigarh that the guilty would not be spared and dereliction of duty would not be tolerated.

He announced an assistance of Rs five lakh to the family of the victim.

Dalal said a government job would be given to the rape victim's husband Subhash so that he could bring up his two daughters.

Dalal said the state police will also try and ensure that it provides some financial help to the two minor daughters of the rape victim by having some fixed deposits in their names.

"We understand very well the trauma and suffering of the two young girls. We will take care of their education and give them financial help," he said.

The DGP said five teams had been dispatched to various places in Haryana and Rajasthan to trace the two dismissed and absconding constables Balraj Singh and Silak Ram.

He said efforts would be made to put the trial of the rape case in a fast track court. "We are giving very high priority to this issue and we will ensure the guilty are not spared," Dalal said.

To a question, Dalal said Additional Director General of Police (Crime) Sharat Kumar, who is inquiring into the case, will reach Rohtak on Thursday to investigate why action against the two accused policemen had been delayed and fix responsibility.

Addressing a separate press conference, Haryana's Chief Secretary Dharamvir said that in future, responsibility will be fixed in cases of sexual harrasment where action is delayed and the guilty would be punished.
Asked how right it was that a police officer would be inquiring the actions of his own men, the Chief Secretary said, "We have to trust the DGP's intention in appointing a ADGP level officer to inquire the case."

Dharamvir said the state government had decided to set up a web-based grievances registration system so that people could register their complaints over the internet easily from anywhere and the system could be made more effective.

The shocking incident of woman's rape which took place in the home district of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has battered the 'people-friendly' image of Haryana Police.

The rape incident took place in the chief minister's home district, Rohtak, causing embarrassment to his government as opposition INLD attacking the authorities for 'failure' to take timely action against the culprits.

Opposition parties organised several protest demonstrations at various places in Haryana on Wednesday and Indian National Lok Dal chief Om Prakash Chautala told media persons at Jagadhri in Yamunanagar district that the women's wing of the party will organise a demonstration at Rohtak and Panchkula on June 13 against the 'apathetic' attitude of the authorities.

The Haryana government also shuffled seven other IPS officers on Wednesday in addition to Dabra and Qureshi.

Meanwhile, a large number of people from various walks of life were present at the cremation of the rape victim on Gohana Road where her husband lit the pyre. The family members of the woman, including her father Jagbir, were also present.

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