Haryana policemen making news for all wrong reasons

June 27th, 2008 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, June 27 (IANS) Policemen in Haryana, one of India’s most prosperous states, are being found on the wrong side of law much too often - from being accused of rape to protecting the accused. And the latest case has surfaced this week. Now a newly wed woman in Karnal district has accused the station house officer (SHO) of raping her inside the police station complex.

The victim had gone to the police station to seek protection - under orders from the Punjab and Haryana high court after getting married against the wishes of her family. The Station House Officer (SHO), Inspector Jai Singh, called her to his house in the police station complex and allegedly raped her. He has since been booked for rape, arrested and suspended.

The incident comes at a time when the Haryana police is already at the receiving end of another case in Rohtak, the home town of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, where another young woman, Sarita, was raped in April this year by two policemen after being called to the police station. She subsequently committed suicide.

Worse still, Rohtak police shielded the accused policemen for over two months. Though they registered the rape case finally 50 days after the rape, the personnel were not touched till the woman, a mother of two small children, went to the office of the additional director general of police (law and order) V.B. Singh at the police headquarters in Panchkula near here and consumed a pesticide to end her life.

An embarrassed Hooda ordered a probe, shifted out top Rohtak police officers and even asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the matter.

The Haryana police have also provided Z-plus security to controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, an accused in one case of rape and two cases of murder conspiracy.

These are not isolated cases involving Haryana police personnel.

Earlier in June, a young man in a village near Karnal committed suicide and wrote a 12-page suicide note blaming the police for messing up his life. He claimed that he was falsely implicated in a case of a girl’s disappearance and tortured by police.

This week, Haryana police killed another youth, Mahender Kumar, in an “encounter” - a euphemism for staged killing - near Tosham town in Bhiwani district, 300 km from here, after he failed to stop his vehicle at a police barricade.

On July 25, 2005, the state police unleashed perhaps the worst ever charge on factory workers near Gurgaon when scores of ‘Honda’ employees were mercilessly beaten with sticks by Haryana police personnel in full view of TV cameras.

Incidentally, the district police chief Hanif Qureshi who led the charge against the ‘Honda’ employees at that time was transferred out of Rohtak this month after Savita committed suicide alleging rape. Senior police officials in Rohtak had refused to listen to her pleas.

Qureshi was also the district police chief in Jhajjar near Delhi when former cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was booked for killing protected animals and the Haryana police did its best to cover-up by not arresting Pataudi for several days. Qureshi was subsequently handpicked by Hooda for the Rohtak assignment.

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