More than a week after the alleged gang rape of a seven-year-old school girl in Mandsaur town, the police are likely to record her statement at the Indore government hospital, where she is being treated, on Thursday.
The condition of the victim has improved allowing the hospital authorities to shift her to a private ward from the ICU, where she was admitted on June 27, a day after she was raped by two youths who abducted her outside her school.
Special Investigation Team (SIT) chief Rakesh Shukla, who is camping in Indore, told The Indian Express that a medical board will take a call on letting the police record her statement on Thursday morning. He said a child psychologist will remain present during the recording of the statement. He said the police will not ask too many questions.
The victim’s statement is crucial because it will decide whether the police seek further remand of Irfan, 20, and Asif, 24, whose police custody ends on Thursday, or shift them to jail. However, the superintendent of Mandsaur jail has expressed fears that other inmates could assault the duo if they are sent there is judicial custody.
The jail superintendent said the old jail does not have a separate cell to house the two accused and inmates could target them. After the alleged brutalization of the victim came to light, Mandsaur and many other towns in the state have seen angry protests seeking death penalty for the two accused. Given the prevailing mood, the police did not produce the accused in the court and had instead requested a magistrate to set up a temporary court room at SC/ST Police Station near the police control room.
Mandsaur SP Manoj Singh said the jail superintendent’s concern is genuine and the court will decide whether to send the duo to Ujjain, Indore or any other jail with more facilities. Both Singh and Shukla said the investigation is nearly complete.