HOW WE FOUND THE TRUTH BEHIND THE ALLEGED ‘RAPE’ OF A SHIMLA GIRL IN CHANDIGARH

While the people were preparing for the 52nd Independence day on August 14, 2002, few persons in association with some police officers in Chandigarh were implementing a well designed plan to frame-up a city businessman, Mr.M.K.Jain in a rape case with malafide intention.

The sequence of events as studied by our organization to have been planned by the ‘mastermind’ and put into reality by the ‘actors’ is horrendous. Their alleged modus operandi was equally shocking.

ACT II

On August 14, 2002 at about 10.30 P.M.- 10.45 P.M. a girl was said to be seen by two passers by while being thrown on the internal road of Sector 33, Chandigarh in an unconscious state. They immediately called the mobile Police Control Room and the girl was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh and the two car borne informants were let-off after noting their addresses. These two persons are Surinder Sharma, a resident of village Burail, U.T. Chandigarh having a number of criminal cases of fraud, cheating registered against him in Chandigarh. The other person, Mr.Baldev Kumar is a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, U.T. Chandigarh and is said to be a partner of Surinder Sharma. Both are engaged in the business of supplying construction material.

The girl was admitted to the Emergency ward of the General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh where she regained consciousness on August,15, 2002 at about 12 p.m. Her statement was recorded by the police and she alleged that she had been raped by Mr.M.K.Jain, Proprietor of CDAC, a computer institute in Sector 20-D, Chandigarh. According to her she went to the office of Mr.M.K.Jain in Sector 20-D,Chandigarh for joining a Computer Course at about 4.30 P.M.-4.45 P.M. on August 14, 2002. After talking about 10-15 minutes, she alleged that she expressed her desire to work part time while doing computer course and Mr.M.K.Jain said that he has an office in Panchkula where there is a vacancy of a receptionist and he can show him the office and if she wish to join there, she can join any time. She alleged that Mr.M.K.Jain in his mid-fifties took her along in his Lancer Car bearing Registration No. CH-03-E-0125 towards Panchkula. In the meantime, he offered her a cold drink and after consuming the drink, she became unconscious and thereafter, Mr.M.K.Jain raped her and threw her in Sector 33, Chandigarh. According to her, at that time, she was having a visiting card of Mr. M.K.Jain in her hand which the police had recovered.

On her statement, the Chandigarh Police registered an F.I.R. under Sections 328/376 IPC against Mr.M.K.Jain on August 15, 2002 and launched a manhunt against Mr.M.K.Jain. Mr.M.K.Jain apprehending his arrest in the case, fled from his house and is still absconding from the law. His anticipatory bail application has been dismissed by the Punjab & Haryana High Court.

ACT III

Our organization came to know of the incident through newspaper reports appearing on August 16, 2002 that the victim-girl is admitted in General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh and no legal aid is being provided to her. A team of lawyers was constituted by our President which included Ms.Veena Sharma, Mr.Arunjeev Singh Walia, Mr. O.P.Dabla, Mr.Tejinder Singh Sudan and Mr.Manpreet Singh Chahal to investigate the whole case and help the victim in best possible manner. In the meantime, a person claiming himself to be a social worker of Chandigarh contacted one of the team members on August 19, 2002, with the request to help the relatives of the victim girl in meeting her in the hospital. Our team first met the sister of the alleged ‘victim’ and on her request accompanied her to the General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh. She was being kept in a closed room where four-five lady constables and one male constable of Chandigarh Police were guarding him all the time. When asked as to who has detained her, neither the police constables admitted that they have detained her nor the doctors on duty acknowledged her detention in the hospital. When asked from the alleged ‘victim’, she expressed her desire to leave the hospital and go alongwith her sister. We brought the girl out of the hospital, amid protest from the police constables as well as the doctors in the hospital. She then came to our office in District Courts, Sector 17, Chandigarh in the evening and after recording her detailed statement, she was taken to the residence of our President, Sh.Amar Singh Chahal in Sector 8-A, Chandigarh where she addressed a Press Conference informing that she will file a Petition in the High Court and demand a CBI probe into the whole incident. Our organization offered her free legal aid considering her to be a rape victim. The alleged victim and her sister were left without a shelter because the person said to be a social worker failed to take them to a safer place in the night and our President provided them with a comfortable stay for the night in his house on humanitarian ground. The next day,i.e.August 21,2002, Mr.Navkiran Singh, General Secretary of our organization filed a Criminal Misclaneous Petition on behalf of the alleged victim in the Punjab & Haryana High Court and sought CBI probe into the whole incident. The High Court issued notice to the Union Territory for August 24, 2002.

ACT IV

The same day, i.e on August 21, 2002, two persons, namely Mr.Surinder Sharma and Mr. Baldev Kumar claiming themselves to be the ‘informers’ of the incident of the alleged “victim” being thrown from a car in Sector 33, Chandigarh, came to our office and sought our help. They were questioned by the team and during the questioning, Mr.Surinder Sharma told us that he had been tortured by Inspector Jagbir Singh and Inspector Satbir in CIA Staff, Sector 11, Chandigarh on the night of August 19, 2002 and that he apprehend that he may be again picked up and tortured by them. He told that he had been got released from the CIA staff, at about 12 a.m. on August 20,2002 on the assurance of one Ram Lal that Surinder Sharma would be produced again to the police station the next day at 10 a.m.

The sequence of events disclosed by Mr.Surinder Sharma and Mr.Baldev Kumar to our team and also to the media persons during a press conference in the District Courts, Sector 17, Chandigarh on August 21,2002 raised suspicion on their integrity. But since Mr.Surinder Sharma, apprehended his torture at the hands of Chandigarh Police, our organization decided to file a Petition on his behalf in the High Court seeking protection against police torture to Mr.Surinder Sharma and Mr.Baldev Kumar. The High Court issued notice to the U.T. Chandigarh on the said petition for 26.9.2002. In the meantime, the media started exerted pressure on the Chandigarh Police to show results. But due to various reasons, the police could not get the required lead in the case, inspite of the fact that both the alleged “victim” and Mr.Surinder Sharma and Mr.Baldev Kumar were available for investigation.

ACT V

Our team faced with conflicting statements of the alleged “victim” and the alleged witnesses, held detailed deliberations and decided to cross check each and every ‘fact’where doubt arises.

In the first instance, we checked the statement of the alleged “victim” in which she had stated that she went to the computer institute of Mr.M.K.Jain whose name was CDCC and she directly went to the cabin of Mr.M.K.Jain although a receptionist was sitting at the entrance of the institute in first floor of the SCO in Sector 20-D, Chandigarh. We visited the computer institute of Mr.M.K.Jain in Sector 20-D, Chandigarh and found that its name was CDAC and not CDCC. We also saw that there is one guard at the entrance of the institute and he refer everybody to the receptionist who guide the person to locate the person to whom one wants to meet. There are many cabins in the said institute and a person coming to the institute for the first time cannot easily find the cabin of Mr.M.K.Jain without being guided by somebody. Thirdly, the place where the alleged “victim” was allegedly thrown from the car by Mr.M.K.Jain on the night of August 14, 2002 is just opposite to the computer institute of Mr.M.K.Jain and the distance between the two places is not more than 200 meters. All these circumstances coupled with the contradictions in the statements of the alleged “victim” and alleged “witnesses” raised suspicion on the credibility of the alleged “victim”. After going through all the material information and seeing the conduct of the alleged “victim” we came to the conclusion that the normal behavior of the alleged “victim” and all the above discussed circumstances brings her conduct doubtful. In order to check the correctness of the statement of Mr.Surinder Sharma, we first went to the IBP Petrol Pump, Sector 33, Chandigarh to check as to whether the claim of Mr.Sharma that he got petrol filled in his car from the IBP petrol pump in Sector 33, Chandigarh on August 14, 2002 at about 10.30 p.m. and then went towards Sector 33, Chandigarh for going towards his house in village Burail, U.T.Chandigarh is correct or not. On verification from the Petrol Pump, we found that the registration number, make and time of all the vehicles entering into the IBP petrol pump in sector 33, Chandigarh after 9 P.M. are entered in a register maintained by the chowkidar of the Petrol Pump. On the relevant date and time, there was no such entry showing that the registration number of the car of Mr. Sharma having entered the Petrol Pump on August 14, 2002 at 10.30 p.m. After finding this statement to be a bare lie, we went to the spot where Mr.Sharma claimed that he saw the alleged victim being thrown on the road by the car of Mr.M.K.Jain. The spot where the alleged victim was allegedly thrown is not an isolated place and just near this spot there is a makeshift store house of telephone cable wires where a number of labourers sleep in the open space nearby and nobody witnessed or heard of any such incident of throwing of a girl in an unconscious state. Thereafter, we went to the chowk of Sector 33-34, Chandigarh where Mr.Sharma claimed that he chased the car of Mr.M.K.Jain. Here we found that on the return journey towards the place where the alleged victim was thrown, there are few shops and if a person is to call the police from a pay phone, the market in Sector 33, Chandigarh could be the nearest place, which was not used by Mr.Sharma. As per Mr.Surinder Sharma, he went to the market of Sector 33, Chandigarh near Fountain park in Sector 33, Chandigarh at about 10.50 p.m. and informed the PCR at 100 through a pay phone in the market at a far off place, although he had a mobile phone with him at that time. We went to the said pay phone shop and enquired about Mr.Sharma and his claim of making a call to PCR at 100. The chemist in whose shop the pay phone is installed admitted that Mr.Sharma did use his phone to call 100.But he also disclosed that Mr.Sharma and Mr.Baldev Kumar are a regular visitor to their market and are seen with suspicion by the police and the shopkeepers. He also disclosed that on August 14, 2002, Mr.Surinder Sharma alongwith Mr.Baldev Kumar and two girls had come to the market in his car at about 2 p.m. and demanded some drug from the chemist which if mixed with some liquid or food makes the consumer, unconscious, but the chemist refused to give any such drug to Mr.Sharma. Thereafter Mr.Sharma left the place in his car. This fact confirmed the doubt of our team members that Mr.Surinder Sharma and Mr.Baldev Kumar are important actors in the whole frame-up. We also noticed that due to the involvement of some Inspectors of Chandigarh Police, this case is being un-necessarily delayed in order to help the mastermind and other actors to save themselves from the bound of law. After the thorough investigation, our team was confronted with the following questions for which we thought to find the answers and the answer to all those questions was an independent investigation by CBI.

ACT VI

After going through the statements of all the witnesses examined by the team and cross-checking it and examining the attending circumstances during a week long investigation, our team released its investigation report on August 25, 2002.

On August 26, 2002 all the leading newspapers of the region carried our investigation report and our findings. In the aftermath, our the General Secretary of our organization, Mr.Navkiran Singh, decided not to represent the alleged “victim” in the High Court when the petition filed by the alleged “victim” was listed. He accordingly informed the High Court that since the investigation of our organization has held the conduct of the alleged “victim” to be doubtful, therefore, he is withdrawing from the case. Till that time, the plea of Chandigarh Police was that Mr.M.K.Jain, who is the main accused will be soon arrested. The High Court then dismissed the Petition of the alleged victim seeking CBI probe into the alleged rape.

Our investigation report was released on August 25, 2002, holding therein that the case may be a frame-up and in order to bring out the truth in the present case, the investigation should be done with diligence and impartiality which is lacking with the Chandigarh Police and it should be handed over to an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation After reading our investigation report, the Chandigarh Police probably changed its direction of investigation and started investigating in the direction our organization had given the lead. From this point of time, the police also worked on our finding that the alleged ‘rape’ case could be a frame-up in order to implicate Mr.M.K.Jain. We feel that if our organization with its limited authority and resources have been able to un-earth most of the story behind the frame-up within a week, why the Chandigarh Police couldn’t do that even after a month of the incident ?

Now that the case has already given a bad name to the Chandigarh Police as one head constable Nirveer Singh and two of its Inspectors, namely Mr.Mani Ram, SHO P.S.South and Mr.Prem Singh Malik, have been found directly involved in the whole frame-up, the Chandigarh Administration declined to trust the investigation of the Chandigarh Police anymore and ordered that the case be entrusted to the Central Bureau of Investigation. We feel that this decision of the Chandigarh Administration has vindicated our findings that truth cannot be brought out in the case unless the investigation is withdrawn from Chandigarh Police and handed over to the CBI. We appreciate the decision of the Chandigarh Administration and assure that our organization would provide each and every assistance and evidence available with it to the CBI in connection with the investigation of the case.

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