The Haryana Police arrested three people, including one of the main accused, in connection with the alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old girl in Haryana's Mahendragarh district on Sunday, while the hunt to nab the other two suspects is still on.
Among the arrested is one of the three key accused, identified as Nishu, Special Investigation Team (SIT) chief and Nuh SP, Nazneen Bhasin told reporters in Rewari. Bhsasin also said that it was Nishu who planned the crime.
The other two accused arrested are Sanjeev, owner of the property where the alleged crime took place, and Deendayal, a medical practitioner who examined the 19-year-old after her health worsened due to sedation and the sexual assault.
Bhasin added that after the gangrape, Nishu called Dr Sanjeev of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, to the tubewell where the three accused raped the girl. Sanjeev has been charged with "negligence".
The teenager, a meritorious student from Rewari, was abducted from a bus stop in Kanina town in neighbouring Mahendragarh district on Wednesday when on way to a coaching class, police said. She was allegedly drugged and gang-raped at a room adjoining a tubewell in an agricultural field, police said.
Nishu's arrest is a major development in the gangrape case as he may have links to the other two main accused. According to a report in The Times of India, Nishu confessed that he planned the entire crime - from following the bus, forcing the girl to drink the drugged water, abducting her, raping her in the fields and dropping her off at Kanina bus stand.
The other two men, all in their 20s, have been arrested as their co-conspirators.
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.
Deendayal reportedly told police that the three key accused had taken the key to the room from him on the day of the incident, an official said. "Deendayal's role is that he knew for what activity his property was going to be used, but did not report it to the police," Bhasin said.
Bhasin said that there were "rumours" that shady activities had taken place at the spot where the crime took place, but these were being verified.
Meanwhile, raids continued across several states to nab two other prime suspects, Pankaj, an army man and Manish. The photographs of the key accused were released by the police on Saturday.
Bhasin also said the victim told the police that more people were involved. "We cannot rule that out at this stage. However, no positive identification of those people has been made," she said.
An application was moved by the victim's family on Sunday stating she wanted to record a fresh statement under Section 164 of the CrPC, Bhasin said.
Bhasin also added that the government had put its weight behind the SIT and every procedure concerning the case, which has caused a nationwide outrage, had been put on the fast track.
Manohar Lal Khattar meets Haryana DGP; Rewari SP transferred
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who had an event scheduled in Jalandhar in Punjab, cut short his visit and reached Chandigarh earlier on Sunday and summoned the state DGP BS Sandhu to review the progress in the case. The chief minister directed DGP Sandhu to ensure arrest of all the accused at the earliest, officials said.
Lieutenant General Cherish Mathson, who heads the South Western Command, also said the army will help bring the rape-accused (Pankaj) 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.
Opposition steps up attack against Haryana government
Opposition Congress and INLD had stepped up attack on the Khattar government in the wake of the incident, alleging law and order situation had worsened under the BJP rule in the state. They demanded that Khattar resign on moral grounds.
Earlier, the victim's family alleged that police failed to act promptly on their complaint and delayed action citing jurisdiction issue between 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 probe was being conducted by the Mahendergarh police as the incident occurred in an area under their jurisdiction.
A zero FIR can be filed in any police station and can be transferred to the concerned police station.
Accused should be hanged, says victim's family
The girl's family members told reporters in Rewari that she was in "acute trauma". "The accused should be hanged," her mother said.
She also said the family has decided to return a Rs 2 lakh cheque handed over 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 police doing. The accused are yet to be arrested," she said.
Police have provided security to the victim's family.
Doctors at the civil hospital, Rewari, said that the victim's condition was stable, though she was in trauma.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 17, 2018 11:23:43 IST