Probe in rape of trafficked minor stuck for want of evidence

The probe in alleged gang-rape of a trafficked minor by six policemen is stuck for want of comprehensive statement of the victim.

New Delhi: The probe in alleged gang-rape of a trafficked minor by six policemen is stuck for want of comprehensive statement of the victim, over two months after a Delhi court pulled up police for not taking steps to identify the accused in the case.

With the police still looking into the aspect of sexual assault, the court has framed charges of kidnapping against two persons who allegedly brought the girl from West Bengal to Delhi without the consent of her parents.

While framing charges in the case, the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate noted that, "As of now, there is nothing to relate the present accused persons with commission of the offence of rape. The police are still probing the role of other accused persons including the employer."

"The court has already taken note of the fact that for want of comprehensive statement of victim to the magistrate, which could not be concluded in right earnest due to counselling sessions, the role of six police officials as well as of the present accused persons regarding sexual assault on the victim is unestablished," the ACMM said.

The case pertains to a minor girl hailing from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal who was allegedly trafficked to the capital by Geeta Lakra, 24, and Jawahar Lakra, 22 and allegedly raped by six policemen in a police station here.

She had reported the incident of alleged sexual assault to an NGO and doctors who were counselling her, but had failed to give a comprehensive statement to the police about the incident.

The court had in January pulled up the police for not making attempts to identify the accused police personnel.

As per the FIR, the Lakras had coerced the girl into coming to Delhi with them and handed her over to the third accused Gul Mohammed, 40, to be employed at his office here.

The FIR was registered under Section 376 IPC (rape), but none of the accused was chargesheeted for the offence.

The police had booked two accused for kidnapping, concealment of the minor and also under the Juvenile Justice Act for forcing her into hazardous employment. The court framed charges of kidnapping against Geeta and Jawahar as, after perusing the statement of the father of the victim, it held that they had brought the girl to Delhi without his consent.

On the charges under the Juvenile Justice Act dealing with assaulting, abandoning, exposing or wilfully neglecting the child, the court said the victim has not mentioned any incident of the accused inflicting mental and physical suffering on her.

"I have already observed that the only instance where her treatment by her handler could be said to inflict mental and physical suffering is in regard to the employer namely one Guljeet Kaur whose role is still being probed," it said.

The court absolved Gul Mohd of all the charges saying the minor has nowhere stated that she was forced into any hazardous employment by him. It noted that the girl merely said she stayed at the office of Gul Mohd for a few days.

The girl had in her statement to the counsellor said she had escaped from the office and come near the JPN station, which comes under I P Estate Police Station, where six police personnel tied her mouth and eyes and sexually assaulted her.

A local handed her to Child Welfare Commission, which then wrote to the Police Commissioner asking him to register a case of rape and kidnapping.

The court had earlier this year directed the Commissioner of Delhi Police to look into the probe and alleged gang-rape of the minor.