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Panchkula gang rape: Police arrest 7 in connection with 22-yr-old's rape in Morni guesthouse; accused to appear in court today

Chandigarh: Police on Sunday arrested seven more accused in connection with the alleged rape of a 22-year-old woman from Chandigarh by 40 men for four consecutive days at a guest house in Morni area of Haryana's Panchkula district, officials said on Sunday.

They said that while accused Sahib Singh, a resident of Panchkula was arrested earlier, six more were nabbed later in the day.

They were identified as Sukhwinder Singh, Karan Sharma, alias Kimmi, Manjit Singh, Vikash alias Vicky, Shadi Ram and Ajay Kumar, all residents of Ambala, Naraingarh and Sadhaura in Ambala district, police said, adding that they will be produced in Panchkula court on Monday.

In a complaint lodged with the Chandigarh Police at Manimajra police station on 19 July, the woman alleged that she was held captive for four days where the accused took turns to rape her.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The woman's medical report had confirmed that she was raped and given sedatives in confinement. The guest house has been sealed, police said.

Earlier, the guest house manager and another key accused, who was known to the victim's husband and was instrumental in taking her to the guest house, had been nabbed, they said, adding more arrests were likely.

The victim has alleged that two police personnel were also among those who raped her. However, police have not confirmed this allegation yet.

The woman's husband has claimed before reporters that one of the accused police personnel had even given a Rs 50 currency note to his wife after writing down his mobile number asking her to contact him if she faces any problem on way to Panchkula bus stand from Morni.

He had earlier told reporters that his wife was promised a job at the guest house by a person known to them, adding she was drugged for four days, gang-raped and threatened that she and her husband would be "eliminated" if she revealed the incident to anyone.

The Chandigarh Police had registered an FIR at Manimajra police station after the woman approached them, amid allegations that the Haryana Police had failed to take cognizance of her complaint initially when she approached a women police station in Panchkula.

When asked that the victim and her husband have desired that the case be transferred back to the Chandigarh Police as it was in process of being handed over to Panchkula police, a senior Panchkula police official on Sunday said, "We are learning about this through the media only. The complainant or her husband have not made any such request to us."

The Panchkula Police had set up a Special Investigation Team under IPS officer Anshu Singla, currently posted as ASP, Panchkula, to probe the incident.

Three police officials, including a woman Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), were suspended for negligence and not handling the rape survivor's complaint properly.

However, the suspended woman ASI, Saraswati Kumari, has reportedly claimed that she had sent a WhatsApp message to Panchkula's Sector 5 women police station SHO Rajesh Kumari about the complaint, but she took no action.

The rape survivor had gone to Sector 5 women police station on Thursday, but police personnel there allegedly failed to register a case.

The suspended woman ASI reportedly told her superiors that the SHO directed the woman to Manimajra police station as she was a Chandigarh resident.

The woman police station's SHO is part of the SIT formed by the Panchkula police to probe the gangrape.

The victim's husband claimed before reporters that his wife in a statement recorded before a judicial magistrate had stated that a hospital in Panchkula refused to conduct her medical examination and asked for a police complaint first.

Her medical examination was later conducted at Civil Hospital, Manimajra, in Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the Haryana police is preparing the records of all guest house and hotels in Morni.


Updated Date: Jul 23, 2018 09:51 AM

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