A day after directing the trial of the Bhopal gang-rape case in a fast-track court, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday expressed his grief over the incident and said he has formed a SIT to probe the lapses in the investigation. “I’m deeply hurt by it. I have formed SIT to investigate the case and also probe the lapses in the investigation,” CM Chouhan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Reacting to the incident, Rahul Kothari, a BJP leader, slammed the coaching institute. “Coaching institute should have provided transportation. How did it allow her to go alone and not in group?” he asked. Following criticism from Congress over the incident, Kothari also defended the state government by saying that two strong steps have been taken, citing the suspension of two SHOs and the removal of CSP.
Meanwhile, the Congress party attacked the state government over the incident and described the gang-rape of a 19-year-old as a “blot” on the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh. Attacking the CM, Ajay Singh, leader of Opposition in the Assembly, said, “Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should pull up his home minister as well as the DGP as the shameful incident took place right in the middle of the city and is a blot on the face of the BJP government.” He added, “If such a serious crime can take place in the state capital, and police dilly-dally on filing an FIR, then one can imagine the situation in rural areas.”
On Friday, five police officials were suspended for their alleged negligence and the city Superintendent of Police (SP) was transferred over a delay in lodging a complaint regarding the case. SHOs belonging to three police stations and two sub-inspectors were suspended after CM Chouhan called a meeting of police officials and senior bureaucrats.
The woman was allegedly abducted and raped by four men near railway tracks in Bhopal on Tuesday night while she was returning home after attending a coaching class, police said. Police arrested all the four accused and booked them under the relevant sections of the IPC.
The National Commission for Women(NCW) has also written to DGP Madhya Pradesh calling for strict and appropriate action against the culprits. The organisation has also asked the DGP to take action against respective officials at police stations who refused to file the complaint. It has further requested to apprise it about details of the case along with action taken by fax or email immediately.
The incident occurred around 10 pm on Tuesday in the vicinity of the Habibganj railway station when the four men abducted the woman while she was returning home after attending a coaching class in Maharana Pratap Nagar, a GRP officer said.
He said the accused allegedly took the woman under a culvert near the railway tracks and took turns to rape her before fleeing. On the basis of the complaint lodged by the woman, a case was registered at the GRP Police Station (Habibganj Railway Station) as the area where the crime occurred falls under their jurisdiction.
The accused are identified as Golu Bihari, Amar Chhantu, Rajesh, and Ramesh. “They have been booked under sections 376 D (gangrape) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention),” the officer said, adding that further investigation is on.
Meanwhile, Congress chief whip in Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia in a tweet said: “It took MP police 11 hours to file the case — absolutely shocking. Authorities must take strict and immediate action against perpetrators.”