Role of a state
official in a rape case condemned
Insaaf International strongly condemns the role of Chairperson, State
Commission for Women, Ms. Surinder Kaur Grewal in case of torture of a
rape victim by Patiala Police.
According to media reports a 14-year-old girl was allegedly abducted,
tortured, and raped for six days by the Patiala police by giving electric
shocks behind her ears. The victim and her family ran from pillar to post,
met police officials and Chairperson Punjab State Commission for Women
to get justice. Unable to get any justice from them the victim tried to
meet the Chief Minister, S. Parkash Singh Badal at Sangat Darshan held
at Samaana on 30.4.01. She was refrained from meeting the Chief Minister
by the Chairperson and police officials present at the venue of Sangat
Darshan of Chief Minister. The victim was escorted back to her residence
in a police gypsy. The Chairperson confirmed that the minor victim had
clear torture marks behind her ears. It is shocking that she found it
sufficient only to reprimand the police officials for this barbaric act.
Strangely enough, the Chairperson defended the police for not having allowed
the girl to meet the Chief minister by saying that that would have sensationalised
This episode puts a question mark on the credibility of a statutory Commission
entrusted with protection of human rights by the government. It also exposes
the political drama of Sangat Darshan by the Chief Minister. The courtiers
properly screen the people before allowing them to meet the chief minister
for this publicity stunt.
Insaaf demands immediate
registration of criminal cases against guilty officials. Insaaf has sent
copies of the newspaper cuttings to the National Human Rights Commission,
National Commission for Women, Chief Justice Supreme Court, Chief Justice
Punjab and Haryana High Court, Home Minister of India and various National
and International human rights bodies.
The press in Punjab has extensively reported the case. The Tribune reported
as follows: The family of the victim, which had earlier approached state
Women Commission chairperson Surinder Kaur Grewal, alleging that the Patiala
police was not giving them justice and had given electric shock to the
girl behind her ears, was refrained by Ms Grewal and other police officials
at Samana, from complaining the matter to the Chief Minister.
Ms Grewal, when contacted in this regard today, said: "I severely
reprimanded the police officials on the spot as torture marks behind both
ears could be seen clearly." She said she had directed the SP (Detective)
to ensure justice was done to the girl. The fault lay with junior police
officials who did not act properly even though those at the helm in the
district had good intentions, she said, adding that she did not want to
sensationalise the matter by going to the Press as the girl's future was
The SP (Detective), M.S. Chahal said he would start investigation in the
case tomorrow and had called the family of the victim in this regard.
He said now that the case was with him, he would ensure justice to the
aggrieved party and anything found wanting earlier would be removed immediately.
When asked about the illegal manner in which the victim had been given
electric shock as alleged by the family, he refrained from giving a direct
reply, saying that he was yet to clear this fact and had not been able
to talk to the officials concerned. He, however, added: "Now that
the case is with me, I will definitely do something in two days".
He said he had given a similar assurance to the Women Commission chairperson.
The girl and the family were escorted back to Patiala in a police vehicle
only after being assured that they would be given justice.
For the family of the girl, however, all has been lost. Narrating her
tale of woe, the victim said she was abducted on April 11. A boy living
in the same locality came to her house and told her that her elder sister
had rung up from Mumbai. She said though she was reluctant to go as her
parents were not at home, she was persuaded by him. On reaching his house
she was given a glass of water following which she fell unconscious. She
said when she regained consciousness she found herself in a room on the
top story of the house. She was repeatedly raped for six days in the house
before she managed to escape on April 16.
The girl's father, who works in a wire factory nearby, said though an
FIR was registered in the urban state police post and a medical examination
of the girl was conducted, the police after taking initial action in the
case started shielding the accused. -- Dr. Vineeta Gupta, General Secretary,
Insaaf International, Bhatinda, 2.5.01