“My right to privacy was violated, I was robbed of my decency in my safe space as scores of men entered my house amid a raging pandemic while claiming to be from a government body. I have been fighting for justice,” said a 34-year-old woman whose home in Sector 2 was allegedly broken into by about 30 men on August 26. It has been over a week since the incident — which was captured on CCTV– took place, but no action has been initiated yet.
The victim has alleged that at around 5 pm on August 26, a canter carrying around 25-30 men reached her house, which is being renovated, and entered without permission. The same can be seen in CCTV footage shared by the family with The Indian Express. “They even entered our basement but did not think of even ringing our bell. We suspected they were thieves,” she says, recalling how only two nights prior on August 24, someone tried to break into her house, for which a formal complaint was submitted at the sector 2 police post.
“After we demanded to know who they were, one man — who we later identified as SDO Rajesh Kumar Khurana with the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), started abusing me. When we raised our voices, he got angry and pushed me to the ground while touching me inappropriately,” the victim recalls, shuddering.
In another video shot by the victim, the alleged HSVP official can be seen asking the JCB to “raze their house to the ground”. The woman claimed that the man said, “Isko bhi canter mai daalo, utha ke lekar jaenge”.
After she called police, the men escaped in their canters, she claimed. A patrolling party arrived later. The family said that the next day, they received an HSVP notice stating that two of their walls were raised more that the prescribed limit and that they have a month to submit their reply. “The notice carried an issuance date of August 24. I do not understand if the theft attempt on August 24 night and the consequent incident by HSVP officials was related. But the officials cannot come ready with a JCB, abusing and harassing women without any notice and official IDs,” she said, insisting that even after several requests, officials refused to show their official identification cards.
The victim further questioned the viability of the notice, stating that “when no inspection took place by any official, how can they issue a notice saying the walls are raised? They have been so for the past several years. We anyway do not mind the notice and will see to it that walls are in adherence with norms but abuse and harassment at the hands of government officials is not something we will tolerate,” she said.
The woman further alleged that the police have not take any action on her complaint and that no woman police official has accompanied the officers who reached their house for investigation. “On the day of the incident, I went to the women police station where I was told this is not their matter and was escorted to the sector 5 police station. The two officers there insisted this was not a matter to be reported but took the complaint after we insisted. Two days back, police officers of sector 2 police post visited us but without a female police officer,” she said.
Inspector Lalit Kumar, in-charge of sector 5 police station under whose jurisdiction the area falls, said, “We made a report and have sent it to the women police station.” Inspector Wahida Hameed, in-charge of the Panchkula women police station said, “We do not have any such complaint. In case they have sent it, we have not received it yet.”
Meanwhile, filing an RTI with the HSVP, the complainant has demanded identification of the 30 men who visited their house, the issuance of notice and its date, the name and details of concerned duty magistrate assigned for demolition of house among other things. Replying to the allegations made by the woman, Estate Officer for HSVP Anil Duhan said, “Our officials had gone in with an anti-encroachment team to raze an encroachment on HSVP land next to their house. We had carried out an inspection after their neighbours had submitted a complaint, following which the team had gone to demolish the encroachment.”
Asked when the inspection had been conducted, the official did not respond clearly. He further said, “We do not need to issue a notice before demolishing illegal constructions on our own land.”
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