The US national, who was allegedly raped by two auto-rickshaw drivers in Kharar in November 2014, has alleged that Chandigarh Police has not guarded her privacy and even shared her personal details, including contact number, with “one of the persons involved in the case”. Chandigarh Police, however, has refuted her allegations.
In an email interview with Chandigarh Newsline, the victim has also expressed her dissatisfaction regarding the police’s “sporadic” communication with her about the case.
She has also claimed that the man, with whom the police had shared her details, had started stalking her on Facebook.
“ I don’t know to who else they gave my information, but I was getting a lot of unsolicited Facebook friend requests from Indian men whom I have never met and emails as well, none of which I appreciate. I have since shut my Facebook account and will be closing this email address soon,” she has told Chandigarh Newsline.
She has added that in her country they have a “stronger sense of privacy and much more sensitivity to the psychological and emotional impacts of trauma that people, who experience events like this, go through. I can not imagine any American police force communicating so sporadically about a case under investigation, with months elapsing between communications.”
Refuting her allegations, Chandigarh Police has said they have not compromised the investigation of the case at any stage. “Why should we keep disturbing her? Whenever required for the purpose of investigation, we contacted her. We have not shared her contact details with anyone. There is only one woman police officer who has been communicating with her and that too through one single email id and a phone number so that there is no confusion,” Anjitha Chepyala, DSP (Women Cell), Chandigarh Police, has told Chandigarh Newsline.
It was the first visit of the 31-year-old woman to India in 2014. She has alleged that while she was in Chandigarh in November 2014, she was raped by two autorickshaw drivers. She has said they took her to a room in Kharar, raped her and then dropped her near ISBT, Sector 43, in Chandigarh. She then went back to the US after the incident and first lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh Police, via email, on April 24, 2015. She attached a medical certificate, which was in French as conducted in Paris. Chandigarh Police took the document to a Professor of French in Panjab University and got it translated.
Asked if the Chandigarh Police had communicated to her the Indian legal procedure, she said, “We had a series of email exchanges about the identification (of the accused) procedure. That was the only procedure discussed with me.
At no point have the police ever informed me about the progress of the case, what I can expect, other procedures, in which I need to be involved, or the timing of the trial.”
She has added that after she lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh Police, she got the first reply after six months. “Then a few mails were exchanged over the course of a week or two, but then again I did not receive any response for several months,” the victim has alleged.
“Each exchange has been like this sporadic, unexpected. The police once scheduled a Skype call with me and didn’t show up. They called me on WhatsApp once, but the call dropped and they never called me back,” she has added.
The woman has also told Chandigarh Newsline that the police had asked her to give information about the doctor who conducted her medical examination and his contact number in Paris. “My response to them was that they are the police and finding information like this was their job,” the victim has said, adding “regardless of how this case is decided in a court, God will take care.”
Chandigarh Police has arrested one of the two accused, Baldev Singh. The other accused, Jaswinder Singh, is still at large. Baldev is currently lodged in Model Jail, Burail.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court will decide whether the Chandigarh Police can use video conferencing to record her statements under Section 164 of CrPC and get a Test Identification Parade of the accused done through the same method.