Fifteen police officials were reportedly transferred after the higher officials received a complaint accusing irregularities in handling a rape case involving a minor.

On Saturday, July 17, Superintendent of Police (SP) Hamid Akhtar ordered the transfer of 15 officials at the Naraingarh Woman Police Station in India's Haryana, just days after the Station House Officer, Satwinder Kaur, and Sub-Inspector, Rajwinder Kaur, were suspended from duty for allegedly changing the statement of a rape victim in a case lodged under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.

A case was registered against the SHO and the Sub-Inspector under Sections 166A (public servant disobeying direction under law), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of the offence or giving false information to screen offender) and 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save a person from punishment or property from forfeiture) of the Indian Penal Code.

The SHO and the Sub-Inspector were booked on Saturday with respect to the rape case that was registered on June 26.

As per the case, a 17-year-old girl filed a complaint accusing the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Navneet, of repeatedly raping her, giving her abortion pills and violently sexually assaulting her.

A case was registered and the officers began an investigation, however, the victim and her family claimed that the investigating officers had pressurized them to change their statements in favor of the suspect, to which they disagreed.

The victim further said that the officers had taken her and her mother’s signatures on plain papers.

"We were yet to get an FIR (First Information Report) copy, so we went to the police station to get one and were shocked to read my statement different from what we had sent. The case was lodged under the same act in three-four lines with mention only of rape and all other allegations were removed," the survivor previously alleged.

The victim’s family had written to various higher authorities including the Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij and State Director General of Police (DGP) Manoj Yadava, calling out for action against the accused officers for changing their original statement and providing loopholes in the case by adding charges in favour of the accused.

"I found that the allegations levelled by the family were true and a case was lodged against the officers," Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP, Barara) Rajnish Kumar said.

The head constable of the police station was also suspended from service for allegedly demanding a bribe from an elderly woman.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ambala Range, Bharti Arora has ordered to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to study the case and investigate the irregularities, police said.

 

Stop Rape Representation image. Pixabay