‘Serial child sex abuse’: Retired Major in one-day police custody

Cops looking for one of his cell phones; family alleges he is being framed.

A 59-year-old retired Army Major on Friday was remanded in one-day police custody in a suspected serial child sex abuse case.

Major (Retd) H C Sharma, who was arrested on Thursday, was part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in the late eighties during the war between Sri Lankan military and LTTE, and also served in Jammu and Kashmir.

Police said he was caught by his neighbours for alleged sexual exploitation of two minor girls at his house in Sector 12 on Thursday, and was later booked for rape and unnatural sex.

Though the police are yet to get medical reports of the girls and the accused, they believe "this could be a serial child sex abuse case'' as local residents complained that he would give candies to children to exploit them sexually.

On Thursday when a neighbour of the Major went to look for his two children, he found that the Major had bolted his door from inside and was allegedly exploiting the two girls sexually.

During questioning, the police found that the accused also gave tuition to students.

Sector 5 SHO Deepak Kumar said "we have not recovered any of the cell phones of accused and the investigation in the case is on''.

Police sources said the Major had been keeping more than one mobile phones.

The call details of one of his numbers were being traced through the cyber security cell of the police. Public prosecutor Kapil Gaur said Chief Judicial Magistrate Bhawna Jain granted a day's police remand after it was contended that one of the cell phones of the accused had not been recovered as yet.

However, the family members of the Major alleged that he was being framed. His brother-in-law, P K Kalia, said the cases had been slapped against him on the provocation of his neighbours as ''he has been objecting to the parking of vehicles by his neighbours outside his house".

Police officers investigating the case said the family of the minor girls belonged to Nepal and had been living in the city for quite some time.

According to police sources, the Major had joined the Army in 1972, but was discharged prematurely from service after he went into depression.

The Major has been living alone in a rented accommodation in Sector 12, though he has a house in the city. He fell out with his wife, a government teacher, and his two children due to which he has been living separately.

While the Major's daughter is a doctor, his son is working on a PhD in medicine from a medical institute in Chandigarh.

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