Witnesses in Ruchika case quizzed

Last Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 21:07

Panchkula: Haryana police are understood to
have quizzed Veena who, Girhotras claim, was their domestic
help even as father of Ruchika`s friend Aradhana, the sole
witness to the molestation of the teenager, today accused the
cops of trying to save the former DGP SPS Rathore in the case.

Veena is the woman whom the Girhotras claim to have been
their domestic help in the 1990s and Rathore`s lawyer wife
Abha Rathore has accused of being the second wife of Ruchika`s
father S C Girhotra.

"We have quizzed and examined all the important
witnesses in connection with the case. There have been several
allegations that have been levelled and we have to get to the
bottom of the turth," head of Haryana police`s seven-member
Special Investigation Team, S S Kapoor said today.

The SIT was set up on December 30 in connection with the
two fresh cases registered on the basis of complaints of
molestation victim Ruchika Girhotra`s father and brother Ashu
against Rathore and others in connection with the incident.

Asked if Veena had also been questioned, Kapoor without
divulging the names of those questioned, said, "All the
important witnesses in connection with the case have been
examined."

He also claimed that Girhotra and Ashu had so far not
joined investigations despite repeated requests and notices
sent to them by the SIT.

However, Anand Prakash, father of Aradhana, the sole
eyewitness in the molestation case, alleged that the Haryana
police had not shown any "seriousness to arrest Rathore and
was instead trying to save him."

Prakash and the Girhotras` lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj claimed
that Haryana Police had shown no inclination to arrest Rathore
despite his bail pleas being rejected.

"On the one hand Haryana police are maintaining that the
probe (in connection with the FIRs) will be taken over by the
CBI. Yet they are making swift actions in arresting people
like Gajender without bothering to put Rathore behind the bars
who has been denied bail. They cannot blow hot and cold in the
same breath," Bhardwaj said.

On SIT`s allegation that the Girhotras were not joining
the investigations, Anand Prakash said, "I have asked them not
to present themselves before the SIT. We fear that the father
and son may be asked to put their signatures on some blank
papers in an attempt to help Rathore".

"I am ready to cooperate, why don`t they call me. But so
far the SIT has never asked me to join the investigations,"
Prakash said.

"Now all of a sudden they claim to have managed in
tracing down Veena and carry out the arrest of Gajender Singh,
a proclaimed offender for 16 years," Prakash said.

Gajender, an accused along with Ruchika`s brother in
several old auto theft cases, was nabbed yesterday from near
Pune by a Haryana police team with active cooperation of
Bihar and Maharashtra police, SIT head Kapoor said.

A Court in Pune has granted seven days` transit remand to
enable the SIT to produce Gajender in a Court at Panchkula,
Kapoor said.

Ashu had recently told Panchkula police that he was
falsely implicated in the auto theft cases at Rathore`s behest
in order to pressurise Ruchika to withdraw her complaint of
molestation against the former top cop.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 21:07

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