A 19-year-old girl from Haryana was allegedly raped by three persons while she was returning to her relative’s house in Shimla on Sunday night. Two days after the incident, the police have failed to make any arrests and remained tight-lipped about the incident.
An FIR was filed at the Dhalli police station on Monday. In her statement to the police, the girl said that while she was returning home on Sunday night at around 10 pm, she was allegedly dragged into a car and allegedly raped inside the moving car. The girl was then left on the road with torn clothes. After the incident, she called a few friends and reported the incident on the “Gudiya helpline” number.
“She does not know the people who raped her, but she can recognise them since they had molested her earlier (on April 17) and were stalking her, according to what she has told us,” said a highly placed source in the police department, who did not wish to be named.
On April 17, she had taken a lift in a car where she was allegedly molested by the car owner. The following Sunday at around 6 pm, she approached the police at Lakkar Bazar to inquire about how she could report the incident of molestation. The police gave her the “Gudiya helpline” number to report the incident.
“The police at Lakkar Bazar was not of much help. They didn’t understand that she was scared that something wrong could be done to her,” the source told The Indian Express, adding that the girl did not tell her parents about the molestation incident since she was worried that if her parents heard about the incident, they would ask her to return to Haryana. The girl was taking coaching classes for medical entrance examinations and resides with her maternal aunt in Shimla.
The medical tests prove that she was raped, police sources said. However, there are gaps in the narrative presented by the girl to the police. On Tuesday, the police questioned one of the male friends, who she claims brought her clothes.
Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Sita Ram Mardi refrained from divulging details of the incident: “We don’t want to disclose anything since it’ll hamper our investigation. We have ordered an enquiry on the information that she had approached the police (at Lakkar Bazar). I will wait for the report before making further statements.”
An eight-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Additional Superintendent of Police (city), Shimla, Parveer Thakur was formed on Tuesday to carry out the investigation in the case on ‘priority’ basis and to ‘complete the investigation at the earliest’.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, “It is a very unfortunate incident. I have ordered the police to expedite the enquiry. However, I will look into the matter personally.”
On Tuesday, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) held a protest in Shimla on the rape issue. HPCC president Kuldeep Singh Rathore said, “The girl approached the police but help was not provided. What could be bigger proof of police inaction than this? While the BJP claims that women are safe in the state, the incident is proof of the failure of the BJP government in the state,” Rathore said.
The BJP Mahila Morcha submitted a memorandum to the Shimla Deputy Commissioner Rajeshwar Goel on Tuesday demanding that action must soon be taken against the culprits.