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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

No FIR,no clue to missing Nepali woman,but clean chit to cop

21-year-old missing since August 21; Chandigarh Police highlights ‘discrepancies’ in eyewitness statement

Written by Yogesh Rajput | Chandigarh | Published: September 6, 2013 2:02:34 am

Eleven days after a city resident accused a Chandigarh Police head constable of abducting his wife,the “We Care For You” brigade has not just failed to register an FIR in the case but has also gone on to give a clean chit to the accused cop even as the 21-year-old woman continues to be missing for a fortnight now.

Appearing to be going soft on its head constable,the city police says the “discrepancies” in the statement made by an eyewitness in the case are the reason behind the clean chit. While legal experts maintain that an FIR ought to be registered without delay in cases like these,the Chandigarh Police,it seems,thinks otherwise. Only a Daily Diary Register entry has been made by the police.

Originally from Nepal and living in the city for the past seven-eight years,Nand Lal Giri,a cook,gave a written complaint to the police accusing Head Constable Bhoop Singh of abducting his wife in front of him on the evening of August 21 from Sector 8. Dragging its feet from the beginning,the police finally chose to order an in-house inquiry. Giri had noted down the registration number of the head constable’s private vehicle and given to the police in his written complaint.

The inquiry officer in the case has finally given a clean chit to Singh as the allegations against him “have not been corroborated”. Yet no FIR has been registered and Giri’s wife Kirti is still missing. The inquiry report has now been forwarded to senior police officers for taking an appropriate decision.

Notwithstanding the “investigation” done by the police so far,the husband insists that it was Singh who took away his wife,who hails from Nepal. Corroborating his claim,an eyewitness,Shishir Rana,whose statement the police have failed to rely upon,also told Chandigarh Newsline that he had seen Giri’s wife sitting in the head constable’s vehicle.

However,the Chandigarh Police,in its inquiry report,has noted that the statement of the eyewitness is “concocted” and has discrepancies. Their justification? Since the woman and the head constable did not know each other’s language,“why would the woman sit in his (Singh) vehicle?”

In his statement,the eyewitness had submitted that he was made to act as an interpreter for Singh and the missing girl,as Singh could not understand Kirti’s language. Around 10 pm on August 21,Singh had spotted the couple who was strolling in a nearby park.

The cop started questioning Kirti who has a smattering of Hindi. Singh had then sought help of the eyewitness,who works at a shop in the same sector,to comprehend Kirti’s language.

Thereafter,as per the eyewitness,he saw Singh taking away Kirti in his private vehicle.

Statements of a few more witnesses were recorded by the police and added to the inquiry report. One of them,according to the police,said that he saw Kirti in an auto and left. However,the same eyewitness told Chandigarh Newsline that he saw an auto stopping next to where the girl was standing,but he did not notice whether she left in the auto or not.

Earlier,Singh had rebutted the allegations saying,“I never took the complainant’s wife anywhere in my car. After questioning the couple,I had let them off. I have no idea as to why the girl has still not returned home.”

However,Giri had alleged that when he asked about the whereabouts of his wife,Singh had told him that he dropped Kirti in a three-wheeler for her home.

When contacted,Senior Superintendent of Police Naunihal Singh said,“Please talk to me tomorrow.”

‘Highly regrettable… a non-bailable offence’

“This is highly regrettable. It is not only a cognisable but also a non-bailable offence. The Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that the police are duty-bound to first register an FIR and then investigate such cases,” said advocate Rabindra Pandit,a leading criminal lawyer.

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