Under the glaring afternoon sun, four women, all in their 20s, have been on an hunger strike in Jantar Mantar for the last four days. They said they were victims of rape who had found no solace in the “shoddy” investigation by police after the incident. All they wanted was for the “system to listen” to them, they said.
While three of them said the same investigating officer (IO) — an assistant sub-inspector from Pandav Nagar police station — was responsible for the apathetic probe, the fourth woman blamed an IO from the District Investigating Unit of New Delhi District.
They said they wanted authorities to take note of their complaints against the two officials and immediately suspend them. The women, who were allegedly raped on the false pretext of marriage, got to know each other in the office of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
Case 1: The 25-year-old woman, who is pursuing her M-Tech, said the FIR of her case was registered in Pandav Nagar police station in November 2015. “The IO said I didn’t have to undergo a medical test. She said it would make no difference”. She claimed that “pieces of evidence” like recordings, text messages and photos were not considered by police. “When I got access to the chargesheet, I found that such key evidence was missing from it,” she added.
Case 2: The complainant, 28, said after the registration of FIR on January 5 this year, the IO from Pandav Nagar police station discouraged her from undergoing a medical examination. According to the woman, she also found “key pieces of evidence” missing in her chargesheet. “There were audio recordings and photographs but the IO didn’t take cognizance of them,” she said.
Case 3: The complainant, a 25-year-old woman, claimed that though the FIR was registered on October 7 last year, police have not acted against the accused as he is a defence personnel. She said she was assigned the same IO at Pandav Nagar police station. “When I lodged a complaint, the IO told my father to compromise on the issue, as it would give my family a bad name. She discouraged me from undergoing a medical examination,” she said.
Case 4: The complainant, 21, is the mother of a two-and-half-month-old child. A case of rape was registered on December 29 last year at Barakhamba Road police station on her complaint. However, she said the IO in her case refused to believe her. “After questioning the accused, the official told me that he was impotent and could not be the father of my child,” she said. According to her, the IO also asked her to change her statement.
When contacted, DCW chief Swati Maliwal said, “We understand and empathise with their problem. It is strange that three of them have complaints against the same IO … we have written to the higher authorities on this”.
However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Rishi Pal, whose jurisdiction Pandav Nagar police station falls under, said, “Two of the cases are already in trial stage and in one case, the court had granted a stay. The IO had no role to play in this”.
The DCP also claimed that medical examinations were conducted properly in all three cases and senior police officials have already talked to the women to sort out the issue.
Senior officials of New Delhi District unit could not be reached despite repeated attempts.