The father of the victim in the Moga molestation and death case has retracted his earlier statement during a hearing on Friday.
Thirteen-year-old Arshdeep Kaur had died after she was allegedly molested and pushed off a moving Orbit bus, co-owned by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, in Moga on April 29.
The statements of Arshdeep’s father Sukhdev Singh and two eyewitnesses, couple Jagtar Singh and Amarjit Kaur who were travelling in the bus on that day, were recorded on the day.
Sources present during the hearing in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Gurjant Singh told The Indian Express that “the victim’s father expressed complete ignorance about the incident. He said he did not know what had happened with his wife and daughter on April 29”.
However, in his earlier statement to the Moga police, when an FIR against four accused was registered under Sections 302 (murder) and 354 (molestation) of the IPC, Sukhdev Singh had said that “when he reached the hospital, his daughter was dead”.
He had also said that “his wife, Shinder Kaur, had told him that the bus driver and other staff had first molested and misbehaved with her daughter and then pushed both mother and daughter off the bus”.
A senior police officer in Moga, too, confirmed: “In an earlier statement, Sukhdev Singh had said that his wife had narrated the entire incident to him but today he said in the court that he was not aware of any details. He did not say that his wife had given the details of the incident. He just said ‘mainu kuch nahi pata’. (I do not know anything).”
The officer added: “The father is not an eyewitness. His statement is, however, important as he is a witness in body identification and site inspection.”
The bus driver, Ranjit Singh, conductor Sukhwinder Singh, helper Gurdeep Singh, and the fourth accused, Amarjeet Singh, are behind the bars in the case.
Jagtar Singh and Amarjit Kaur, whose statement was also recorded on Friday, had earlier said that “they were were sleeping in the front seats and had no idea about what had happened behind”. The police said the couple repeated the statement today as well.
The police could track only five witnesses — all passengers — in the case, who have, however, refused to be part of the investigation in any manner.
One Tarsem Singh, a horticulture officer who surfaced on the second day of the incident, has claimed that he “saw or heard nothing like molestation” on that day. Shinder Kaur is the only eyewitness in the case. Her statement is yet to be recorded in the court.