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Rewari gangrape: SIT arrests one main accused, but army officer still absconding; SP says incident was 'pre-planned'

The Haryana Police on Sunday arrested one of the three main accused in the gangrape of a 19-year-old girl in Rewari in Haryana's Mahendragarh district. Superintendent of Police of Nuh district, Naazneen Bhasin, who is heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) looking into the incident, said that Nishu Phogat, one of the main accused, planned the crime.

 Rewari gangrape: SIT arrests one main accused, but army officer still absconding; SP says incident was pre-planned

Nuh SP Naazneen Bhasin briefs the media on the Rewari gangrape. ANI

Bhasin added that after the gangrape, Phogat called Dr Sanjeev of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, to the tubewell where the three accused raped the girl. The SIT arrested Dr Sanjeev and the owner of the tubewell, identified as one Deen Dayal, earlier on Sunday. Sanjeev has been charged with "negligence".

The Nuh superintendent of police said all evidence pointed to Dayal and Sanjeev's involvement in the Rewari gangrape and that the entire incident was "pre-planned".

"Within 30 hours, the SIT has arrested two people," the senior officer said. "Sanjeev's involvement is proved as it was in his knowledge that the girl was held by the three accused, and that she was not conscious when the things were happening to her. He was part of the plan till the end, and he did not inform any authority."

"On basis of mobile forensics, it has been proved that Phogat contacted him (Sanjeev) to inform him that they needed a room. It was all pre-planned," Bhasin added.

The 19-year-old from Rewari was abducted and gangraped on Wednesday while she was on her way to coaching classes. Among the three main accused in the case is an army personnel. "He is absconding, but he will be arrested soon," Bhasin asserted at a media briefing.

Raids are still on in Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and other states to nab the two absconding accused, a senior official part of the investigation said.

Besides the two earlier arrests on Sunday, the SIT had also recovered the vehicle in which the three accused allegedly abducted the girl in Rewari.

On Saturday, investigators had released photographs of the three absconding accused, including of Phogat. The army officer was identified as Pankaj, who is posted in Kota, and Manish is the other accused.

Lieutenant General Cherish Mathson, who heads the South Western Command, said the army will help bring the rape-accused to book. "We do not shelter criminals. We will facilitate in looking for the accused and will make sure that if any army man is found involved in the rape case, he is brought to book," he told reporters.

Earlier on Sunday, the Rewari Superintendent of Police, Rajesh Duggal, who was accused of failing to ensure prompt action in the case, was transferred. He was replaced by Superintendent of Police of the chief minister's security, Rahul Sharma. Duggal will now lead a battalion of the Haryana Armed Police in Hisar.

Although the FIR in the Rewari gangrape names only three persons as the accused, the gangrape survivor's father said eight or 10 men may have raped her. He said she could identify only three of them. According to reports, 10 teams have been formed to locate those involved in the incident.

Earlier, the rape survivor's family alleged that the police had failed to act promptly on their complaint and delayed action, citing a jurisdiction issue between the Rewari and Mahendragarh units. An official of the women's police station in Rewari said a zero FIR was lodged on the complaint, and the investigation was being conducted by the Mahendergarh Police as the incident occurred in an area under their jurisdiction.

A zero FIR can be filed at any police station and can be transferred to the concerned police station.

The girl's family members told reporters in Rewari that she was in "acute trauma". Doctors at the civil hospital in Rewari said that the girl's condition was stable now, though she was in trauma.

"The accused should be hanged," said her mother.

She also said the family had decided to return the cheque for Rs 2 lakh that was handed to them on Saturday by district officials under the Haryana Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013.

"We do not want this cheque. Is this the price being put for the honour of my daughter? All we want is justice. We used to hear about the long arm of the law, but what is the police doing?"

The police have provided security to the victim's family.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Sep 17, 2018 11:24:22 IST