A 20-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by ten men after she and her male friend were waylaid on Ludhiana’s Changna bridge, near village Issewal, on the South City road Saturday late. Police have booked ten unidentified persons for gangrape, extortion and wrongful confinement, while suspending an ASI for negligence.
DIG Ludhiana Range Ranbir Singh Khatra said that preliminary medical examination of the girl has confirmed rape. However, a detailed medical report is still awaited. He added that none of accused have been identified yet, but their sketches are being prepared as per details given by the girl.
According to the girl, three men on a motorbike intercepted the i20 car in which she and her friend were travelling after throwing a brick at its windshield at around 8.30 pm Saturday. She alleged that a turbaned accused made her sit in his lap forcibly, while others thrashed her friend and demanded Rs one lakh for letting them go. The victim’s friend, according to her, was told to call another friend who could bring the money. Meanwhile, the three accused allegedly called around seven other men to the crime spot. The girl has alleged that she was then dragged out of the car, taken to a secluded plot and raped by nine to ten men.
The friend who was called to bring the money, meantime, went to a police station instead and informed them about the incident at around 11 pm. It was after more than an hour that an ASI accompanied him, at around midnight, in what turned out to be a failed attempt to locate the victims.
The girl, who is a student and also works part-time, claimed that around 2 am Sunday morning, after only two to three accused were left at the spot, her friend banged a liquor bottle on head of one the accused after which they fled from the spot.
DIG Khatra added, “The girl and her friend had left Sarabha Nagar market around 8.30 pm (Saturday) where they had gone to celebrate ‘Chocolate Day’ and when they reached South City road near Changna bridge, their vehicle was stopped by some men on motorbike. They demanded money and allegedly gangraped the girl in a secluded plot near the spot. We have suspended ASI Vidya Rattan who was on duty that night at police station because even when he failed to locate the victims, he did not alert seniors or filed any entry in police records.”
He added: “It was only after girl and her friend reported the matter to police Sunday evening that FIR for gangrape was registered against unidentified persons. Police was informed around 11 pm by their friend, but our ASI went an hour later to spot them. They were released by accused around 2 am when no one turned up with money. The girl has alleged that the accused did not take the car along, but fled with other valuables like wallets, cash, car stereo, speakers and her jewellery….The girl was not carrying her phone then. But they did not take with them the boy’s phone, which they were using to talk to their other friend. We are probing all allegations.”
Khatra said that while girl and her friend are cooperating in the probe, their friend, who was asked to bring money, was yet to join investigation. “We called him several times today but he has not recorded his statement yet,” said the DIG.
The girl underwent medical examination at Civil Hospital in Sudhar on Monday. Her swab samples were sent for further examination, said senior medical officer Dr Neena Nakra.
The girl was discharged after medical examination Monday and her condition is fine, said the police. Her friend received some injuries and was discharged after treatment too, added the police.
An FIR under sections 376-D (gang-rape), 384 (extortion) and 342 (wrongful confinement) was registered against unidentified persons at Mullanpur Dakha police station on statement of the girl.
Inspector Rajan Parminder Singh, SHO, Mullanpur Dakha police station, said that both the boy and the girl had not received any major external injuries and were discharged after medical examination from Sudhar Civil Hospital.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the girl said, “I have already recorded my statement with police and told them everything that happened. I am not in a condition to speak anything more. I can identify the accused if I see them.”
Ludhiana Rural DSP (Investigation) Amandeep Singh Brar said: “There is a secluded plot near the spot where girl is claiming she was raped. We are probing the case. The boy has received minor injuries and girl is also stable now. The exact number of accused is not confirmed yet but as per girl, they were at least ten.”
Police said that around 20 audio clips have been recovered from phone of the girl’s friend in which both victims can be heard crying and pleading with their friend to come fast.