An internal inquiry into the case of a 17-year-old from Jalna who was allegedly raped twice by two men, the second time after police set her up as “bait”, has revealed that police had used her to set another trap for the accused — even before an FIR could be filed and the victim could be sent for a medical examination.
According to the police, on the evening of July 6, two men accosted the victim and her male companion at an isolated spot on Nava Road, dragged her to a nearby forest and allegedly raped her. The accused are reported to have taken the victim’s cellphone and shot a video of the incident. Police said the alleged rapists demanded Rs 2,000 for returning her cellphone.
The victim went to the Taluka police station to file a complaint at 10 am on July 7. While she was registering her complaint, she received a phone call from the accused, asking her to come to Mantha Chowk with Rs 2,000 and take the phone back. The FIR was left unfinished as the police came up with a plan.
Around 2.30 pm, a lady constable escorted the victim in a non-police vehicle to the spot. The car was tailed by two motorcycle-borne policemen in civilian clothes, officials said.
“But they could not catch the accused that day, probably because they saw her with the lady officer. They changed the location of the meeting at least twice, but didn’t show up,” said an officer who did not wish to be named.
The second “trap” was laid on July 9, after the accused again asked the victim to meet them and take her phone back. “The plan was that the victim would be escorted by the police to the spot. The victim, however, mistook a regular patrol van which passed by her house as the escort vehicle and thought that was the signal for her to leave for the spot,” said Special Inspector General of Police, Aurangabad Range, Vishwas Nangre-Patil.
The victim, who was alone, was then intercepted by the accused and allegedly raped for the second time.
Patil said he had sent a special team from Aurangabad to Jalna on Sunday to collect more information in the case.
“There were two traps laid by the police and I’ve shot a memo to SP Jalna regarding the incidents,” Patil said.
He said it was a “clear-cut violation of standard operating procedures” to use the victim to find the accused, especially before an FIR could be registered.
“The victim should have never been exposed to the accused. She is a minor and the case is delicate. It should have been treated more sensitively and should have been rehabilitated instead of being used to find the accused and solve the case, which is the job of the police,” Patil said.
Following the suspension of assistant police inspector Vinod Ejjapawar, who was reportedly behind the July 9 plan, sub-divisional police officer Dikshit Gedam is probing the case.
“We have now followed all procedures and protocol. We have enough legal and technical evidence to nail the accused,” Gedam said.
Senior police officers said the first trap, laid on July 7, was not recorded in the station diary and there is no written proof that such an operation took place. “An inquiry into both traps will be conducted and the guilty will be dealt with,” Patil said.
Police said the victim’s complaint was finally registered at 8.30 pm on July 7, following which she was taken for a medical examination in a government hospital in Gandhi Chowk.
“The victim was brought to the hospital at 11.15 pm on July 7, but she did not complete all formalities and refused to be examined by doctors. However, she was counselled and convinced to undergo the tests and a medico-legal case was subsequently registered by us at 9 pm on July 8,” said R S Patil, medical superintendent of the District Women and Child Hospital, Jalna.