Family members of an 18-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped by five men in front of her husband in Rajasthan’s Alwar district have accused the police of not taking appropriate action on the pretext of ‘increased workload’ during election time.
The accused also uploaded a video of the crime on social media, with the family alleging that if the police had taken timely action, the accused could have been arrested earlier and prevented the video from being circulated.
Taking action in the case, the state government on Tuesday removed Alwar SP Rajeev Pachar. Additional chief secretary, home, Rajeeva Swarup said that Pachar has been kept awaiting for his further posting order. The station house officer of Thana Ghazi police station has also been suspended for delay in initial action.
BJP state president Madan Lal Saini condemned the incident and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who holds the portfolio of the home department.
He alleged that the incident was “concealed” by the Congress government due to elections.
He claimed that nine cases of rape took place in Udaipurwati (Jhunjhunu) in 21 days, two cases of abduction of brides have happened and crime has increased.
According to the FIR registered by the victim, the incident took place on the afternoon of April 26 when she and her husband were intercepted by five bike-borne men while they were going on a motorcycle. She said the accused stopped their motorcycle and forcibly took them amidst hillocks of sand where the five men took turns to rape her in front of her husband for the next two hours.
“They filmed the act and threatened to kill my husband and also to make the video viral before leaving us there,” the complainant has said in the FIR.
Her husband told The Indian Express that after mustering courage, they went to the Alwar SP’s office on April 30 to report the matter. “The SP heard us and later officials of the Thana Ghazi police station went with us to the spot where the crime had taken place and conducted our medical examinations,” said the victim’s husband.
The FIR was lodged on May 2 and family members allege that after the initial investigation on April 30, police didn’t take appropriate action till Monday.
“We were constantly getting threatening calls from the accused who had also taken money from my brother and was blackmailing him for more. We implored the police to take action as we feared they would circulate the video. The police, including officials of the Thana Ghazi police station told us that due to election work, they have less personnel and so asked us to wait till the elections got over,” the husband’s brother told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
“The police stepped into action only after the video was circulated on social media by the accused…,” he added.
Rajasthan Director General of Police (DGP) Kapil Garg told reporters on Tuesday that five of the accused have been booked and the police have arrested one of them — Indraj Gurjar — while four others are absconding. “We have constituted 14 teams which are searching for the absconding accused we hope to be nab them soon…,” said Garg.
Inspector general police, Jaipur Range, S Sengathir said that the other four accused have been identified as Chotelal, Ashok, Hansraj and Mangesh.
Police said that at least one of the accused, Chotelal, has previous criminal cases registered against him. — With PTI inputs