Woman alleges rape by policemen, sparks mob anger (Third Lead)

June 24th, 2009 - 12:24 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) An angry mob Tuesday hurled bricks and stones at a Delhi police station after a woman accused the station house officer and four constables of raping her.
The woman, who had remained untraceable for hours after the alleged incident Monday, went to the Crime Branch office Tuesday evening to record her statement. “We are in the process of registering an FIR,” said a police official.

The woman alleged that Station House Officer Pradeep Kumar of the Inderpuri police station and four constables raped her on the second floor of police building.

As the news of the alleged rape spread, around 200 people, mainly youth, gathered outside the police station late Monday and raised slogans against the policemen. Their anger grew after police failed to register a rape case against their colleagues and on Tuesday, the mob started throwing stones and bricks at the police station.

The Crime Branch has launched a probe into the incident, while a preliminary medical report on the woman has ruled out rape.

According to the woman, a police team came to her house Monday morning looking for her husband, against whom three cases of bootlegging and betting are registered at the police station.

“Since my husband was not at home, they took me to the police station in the afternoon. I was taken into the lock-up on the second floor where one of the policemen raped me. Later, four other policemen came from nowhere and took turns to rape me,” she told reporters.

“They threatened me with dire consequences if I revealed the incident to anyone. I called up my husband who asked me to come to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital (RML),” she said.

The victim’s husband said: “She was inconsolable and told me about the incident. I along with other family members took her to the hospital where doctors treated her. I also called up the police control room to report the incident.”

The police delayed in registering a case in the matter - going against a Supreme Court direction that says a case has to be registered immediately if a woman alleges rape and the investigations can be carried out subsequently.

However, the police claimed the woman had not approached them with an official complaint.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit described the incident as “shameful” and directed the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to carry out a probe.

Extra forces were deployed at the police station following the violence and the situation in the area was reported to be very tense.

The windows of the police station and some cars parked nearby were smashed. According to eyewitnesses, two-three people, including a cameraman of a television news channel, were injured in the stone pelting.

The mob also hurled stones at the car of Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest Delhi) K. Jagdishan.

“The initial medical reports of the woman do not confirm any harassment. We have sent her clothes to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Rohini, for further testing,” Jagdishan said.

“We have not detained anyone in the matter, and a police team will be questioning the woman. She has spoken to the media but has not lodged an official complaint at the police station so far,” he added.

Jagdishan said the case has been handed over to the Crime Branch and SHO Pradeep Kumar has been relieved of his post and transferred to the Police Lines for the time being. Kumar took charge of the station on May 24 and is said to have been mounting pressure on criminal elements in the area, which could be a reason behind the woman’s allegations, said sources.

Asked why no case was registered so far, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Neeraj Thakur said: “Preliminary inquires are being conducted. It will be premature to say if it was a conspiracy or not.”

Crime Branch officials probing the case told IANS they were checking the close circuit television camera (CCTV) installed at the entrance of the police station to see whether the woman was brought to the police station.

“There was no entry made of her name in the police station’s records on whether she was brought here for questioning. We have also questioned the duty officers at the police station. But we are yet to record the statement of the woman, as she has not approached us so far,” a source said, adding that the woman had “gone underground after being discharged from the RML hospital”.

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