LUCKNOW: A teenaged girl allegedly kidnapped by three men in Sitapur was reportedly recovered, detained illegally for five days and repeatedly raped by a policeman and a village chowkidar before being handed over to the family. Despite repeated complaints, police have turned a blind eye to the incident ever since it came to light about a month ago.
Police initiated some action last week after a similar incident was reported from the state capital last week in which the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court took suo moto cognizance the media reports and summoned the Lucknow district police chief. However once the media focus shifted from the incident, the Sitapur police allegedly shelved the inquiry into the poor villager’s complaint.
According to victim’s father Rameshwar, his 16-year-old daughter Suntia (both names changed to conceal identity) was kidnapped by a local youth Rajnesh and his aides on April 2 this year. Rameshwar lodged a written complaint with the police the same day but no action was initiated against the accused till he approached the senior officers who directed the local Piswan police to register a case. Finally, an FIR was lodged with the Piswan police on April 8.
When no further action was taken, Rameshwar on June 3 threatened to immolate himself outside the police station. When the immolation threat appeared in the local media, senior officers directed the Piswan police to workout the case. As a result, Sunita who was untraceable since April, was recovered by sub-inspector (SI) Ram Prasad Premi, the investigating officer in the case within the next 48 hours (on June 5).
Rameshwar said on June 5 the village chowkidar reached his house and informed him that Sunita had been recovered. He accompanied the chowkidar to a location in another village from where Sunita was supposedly rounded up. Thereafter, Rameshwar, Sunita, the village chowkidar and the SI along with a constable started for the Piswan police station. Rameshwar said on the way, he was asked to get off the vehicle and reach the police station by himself.
For the next five days he kept on visiting the police station enquiring about his daughter only to sent back home on one pretext or the other. Once again it was only after Rameshwar threatened to immolate himself, that the village Chowkidar escorted the girl home. “Once she reached home she narrated her ordeal that she underwent first at the hands of the accused and then the SI and chowkidar,” Rameshwar said.
Since then Rameshwar has been begging for justice but in vain. “When the Lucknow incident took place, they called me and recorded my statements. But a couple of days later, everything went quiet. This time, it will not be a mere threat but I will immolate myself and the Sitapur police will be solely responsible for it,” Rameshwar told our media.
Circle officer Mishrikh Vijay Tripathi, when contacted, feigned ignorance about any such complaint.
The police, however, are learnt to have developed a cold feet once queries were made by the media in connection with Rameshwar’s complaint. Any inquiry into the complaint will land the Sitapur police in a big trouble because the police after tracing Sunita had not got her medical examination done and sent her home instead. This is a blatant violation of the procedure followed in a case of recovery of a kidnapped minor.
Now that Rameshwar has once again threatened to immolate himself, like Balram Prasad, the 80-year-old social worker who torched himself near the SP Azamgarh office on Monday, he is hopeful that some action will be initiated against the accused. In his suicide note, Balram had accused police of high handedness, prompting the senior officials to take up the case immediately.