Punjab shame: ‘I won’t budge, want justice’
Chandigarh: With the national media shifting its focus on the shocking case of police brutality in Punjab’s Taran Taran district, the victim on Tuesday said that she will not budge under any pressure and wants justice.
Narrating her harrowing tale to Zee News, the young woman, Harbinder Kaur (22), said, “I was thrashed, slapped and beaten by some Punjab policemen when I and my father approached them with a complaint of sexual harassment by truck drivers in Tarn Taran district.”
The lady further said that she had gone to attend at a marriage function at Gobindwal road where some truck drivers, who were under influence of alcohol, misbehaved with her and when her father resisted them, they beat him up as well.
“Those truck drivers created nuisance and then I and my father approached the Punjab policemen for help but they too sided with the truck drivers and abused me and my father,” the young woman said.
Demonstrating her resolve to seek justice from the higher authorities, she said, “I will not budge. I will not succumb to any pressure. I will fight for justice.”
The young woman further stated that after she was assaulted by the Punjab cops, they threatened her of dire consequences if she refused to give up.
“The policemen threatened to take me to the police station where I would be badly assaulted by them and asked me to keep quiet,” she said.
The Taran Taran victim also regretted that no political leader or senior Punjab police official had visited her family after the incident.
“I have got no assurance from anyone in this regard but I will continue my fight for justice,” she said.
She also sent a message to the women across the country asking them not to tolerate such nuisances and instances of sexual assault and raise their voices against such crimes.
“I am just a class 10th educated woman but when I can fight for justice why can't the young and educated women of India raise their voice against such incidents,” she said.
The young woman further told Zee News that she was even bribed by the guilty Punjab policemen to reach a compromise, which she refused.
Owing to a national outrage over the incident, the authorities in Punjab today suspended four policemen involved in the incident and initiated a departmental probe into the matter.
Raj Kumar Verka, Vice-Chairman, National Commission for Schedule Caste, also summoned the District Commissioner, SSP Taran Taran and IG of Amritsar Range, along with the woman and the family, to Amritsar for a hearing at 12 noon today.
The National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma demanded the resignation of state’s Home Minister for failing to prevent such sha,eful incidents.
"This barbaric incident took place when the girl went to the police for help, it is their duty to ensure that a judicial probe looks into the matter. The state Home Minister must also resign," NCW chairperson said.
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi also expressed her anger against the errant policemen and said that suo motu action could be taken against them. "The video is evidence. They have got proof. They can take suo motu action," she said.
Congress leader Sunil Jakhad said that this was not an "uncommon instance". "This is police brutality. There is no law and order in Punjab. Now (CM Parkash Singh) Badal has ordered an inquiry. Suspension and inquiry are not the cure for such things. It is just a reflection of how the Akali-BJP government is functioning. This is goonda raj in uniform."
The matter came to fore after some Punjab policemen were caught on camera thrashing the young victim in full public view after she and her father approached them with a complaint of sexual harassment.
The woman alleged she was sexually harassed by truck drivers. When her family confronted them, policemen nearby allegedly took the side of the truckers.