A LOCAL court on Tuesday ordered the Inspector General of Police for Jammu zone, S D Singh Jamwal, to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to look into a 25-year-old woman’s allegations that she was tortured and sexually assaulted by police personnel during detention at Kanachak Police Station. The woman, who claims to have been detained on trumped-up charges of theft when she used to work as a domestic help at a nurse’s house, has accused Kanachak Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Rajesh Sharma, among other police officials. Sharma has denied the charges.
City Judge M S Manhas on Tuesday observed that the “allegations are very serious…and are required to be investigated thoroughly so that truth comes out and justice is imparted…”
In her statement recorded before the court on Monday, the victim said she was called to Kanachak police station on April 25. In the first three days, she complained, four policemen, allegedly including SHO Rajesh Sharma, stripped her and beat her with a stick. On the fourth day, they allegedly tied her legs and arms and again beat her before Sharma allegedly asked the head constable to bring a beer bottle.
With a woman constable holding her by the hair, the SHO pinning down her arms and another police official her legs, the head constable allegedly inserted the bottle in her private parts, the woman complained, according to court record.
SHO Sharma called the woman a “habitual offender” who had earlier been arrested in Punjab for alleged involvement in cases related to theft and narcotics. He claimed the woman was at Kanachak police station for only two days — and in custody of policewomen — before she was moved to the women’s cell.
Judge Manhas Tuesday suggested names of six senior police officers for the SIT, including DIG Basant Rath as its chairman. The court’s order came on the basis of a medical report submitted by a board of doctors — constituted on May 3 on the court’s order after the woman alleged torture and assault. The medical report confirmed 11 injuries on the body of the victim.