`Step-mom` surfaces in Ruchika case
Panchkula: A new controversy has emerged in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case involving former Haryana police chief SPS Rathore, with a `mystery` woman, Veena, claiming that she was married to Ruchika`s father, S.C. Girhotra. The claim has been dismissed by the lawyer and friends of the Girhotra family.
Veena has told the special investigation team (SIT) of the Haryana police that she was married to Ruchika`s father, S.C. Girhotra, between November 1990 and 1995.
SIT sources said that Veena, who is now married to another person and lives in Sector 10 here, had told them during questioning that she was married to Girhotra in November 1990, just three months after Ruchika`s molestation by Rathore here Aug 12, 1990, and separated from him in 1995.
Ruchika had committed suicide Dec 28, 1993 three years after the molestation incident.
But the fresh development about Veena coming on to the scene after many years was quickly dismissed by Anand Prakash, father of Ruchika`s friend Aradhana who has been fighting the case against Rathore for over 19 years, and by Pankaj Bhardwaj, the victim`s lawyer.
"As far as I know, Girhotra was never married to Veena. This character has been brought into this case by Rathore. I don`t know under what pressure or allurement she is saying all this. If she was his (Girhotra`s) wife, she should come out with proof of the marriage or their divorce," Anand Prakash said.
Pankaj Bhardwaj said: "Her coming on the scene and claiming that she was married to Girhotra will not impact the case, particularly the charge of abetment to suicide against Rathore."
Girhotra had all along claimed that he was never married to Veena. He claimed that she was a governess in his house.
However, his statement before a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Patiala and another statement to a Haryana police deputy inspector general of police (DIG) earlier had said that he was married to Veena.
Veena had signed the police inquest report into Ruchika`s death in 1993 as `Veena Girhotra`.
Rathore`s counsel and wife Abha Rathore had told a court here, while seeking anticipatory bail for him, that Girhotra was making false charges against Rathore and was hiding facts about his marriage to Veena.
SIT chief S.S. Kapoor told IANS that the Girhotra family was not cooperating with the SIT investigations into the fresh cases against Rathore.
"We sent many notices and reminders to Ruchika`s father S.C. Girhotra and her brother Ashu but they have neither approached us nor tried to come to our office till date," Kapoor, Haryana`s inspector general (security), who heads this seven-member SIT, told reporters.
He added: "We have recorded and examined the statements of all other important witnesses pertaining to this case."
The SIT Saturday made the first arrest in the case when it nabbed Gajendra Singh, a car-thief and proclaimed offender, from Pune. Singh had named Ashu as an accomplice in car theft cases between 1990-93 which the Girhotra family said was done under pressure from Rathore.
It was the harassment and torture inflicted on Ashu, Ruchika`s younger brother, to pressurize the Girhotra family to withdraw the molestation case that compelled Ruchika to commit suicide in December 1993.
A CBI court in Chandigarh had Dec 21 held Rathore guilty of molesting 15-year-old Ruchika in Panchkula Aug 12, 1990 and sentenced him to a six-month prison term.
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