EVEN AS police made little headway in the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Dalit girl in Jind, the family of Gulshan — the police’s prime suspect who was found dead earlier this week — has alleged torture and illegal detention. Gulshan, who was last seen with the girl on January 9, was found dead near this village on January 17. Police said different angles, including abduction and suicide, were being probed.
According to Gulshan’s family, his father, brother and two other relatives were detained last week, and allowed to return home only on Thursday. “They were detained by police on January 13, after the girl’s body was found, and I saw them again five days later. It was news of my son’s death that brought back my husband and younger son. Even in my grief, I felt relief. Nothing can be worse for a mother,” said Gulshan’s mother, Radha. According to Gulshan’s father, Jaswinder Kundora, his younger son was “tortured” in front of him. “They slapped him, beat him up, spread his legs apart and kicked him in his private parts. They even gave him electric shocks. After that, they stripped me naked, tied me to a bench and forced my head into a bucket of water,” he alleged. He added that they did the same with his nephew.
Kundora’s younger son and nephew are both minors. As politicians, including Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar visited the family, the two boys had to be carried out by their relatives.
“Ever since they returned, they have not been able to move. They can only lie down in one place. They need three people to help them to the toilet too,” said a relative, Dharmesh Kumar.
“Call detail records show that I spoke to Gulshan last on January 9. They kept asking me where Gulshan was and what he had done with the girl. I kept saying I did not know anything and they continued to beat and torture me,” alleged the nephew.
The Class X girl and Gulshan were reported missing from Jhansa village on January 9. The girl’s body was found three days later in Jind, nearly 120 km away. She is suspected to have been gangraped, brutalised and killed.
Gulshan’s body was recovered from a canal about 25 km from Jhansa village on January 17.
The family on Friday put forward their complaints to Raj Kumar, regional director of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. “We have visited the family and they have told us of police excesses. We will investigate this further,” Kumar said.
When contacted, Haryana Director General of Police B S Sandhu told The Indian Express, “No such complaints have been made so far. This will be probed if the family comes forward with a complaint.”
Meanwhile, sources in the police said CCTV footage showed the girl walking away from the village on January 9. “We have some footage of the girl walking away from the village and three men on a motorcycle riding by a few seconds later. We are trying to identify the men on the motorcycle,” said a senior officer. The officer added that an eyewitness had seen the girl and Gulshan walking along a bridge over a canal outside the village. Gulshan’s body was recovered from the same canal.
Kurukshetra SP Abhishek Garg said several angles were being pursued. “We had initially suspected the boy, Gulshan, but after his death this has changed. Multiple angles are being probed and we are still waiting for the final post mortem report of the girl,” he said. Asked about the allegations of torture, Garg said, “They were only called for questioning and were not harmed in any way. We may perhaps need to question them again.”