New statement of rape victim recorded as Sheila Dikshit, Neeraj Kumar spar
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Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's request to probe allegations that the Delhi police tried to interfere when a magistrate was recording the statement of the 23-year-old gangrape victim has snowballed into another confrontation between the city government and its police.
Even as Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar dismissed the allegations as baseless, an executive magistrate Tuesday recorded a fresh statement of the victim on Dikshit's request. Home ministry officials said they were taking the complaint very seriously and a probe is likely to be ordered.
Dikshit's letter comes just days after her son and Congress MP Sandeep demanded Kumar resign for what he said was mishandling the protests at India Gate.
Following a complaint from Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Usha Chaturvedi about the alleged interference by the police, Dikshit Monday wrote to Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde seeking an independent inquiry into the 'interference' by police officers when Chaturvedi sought to record the victim's statement at Safdarjung hospital on December 21.
In her complaint, Chaturvedi had said that police officers had reportedly asked her to record the victim's statement as per a questionnaire prepared by them and that the report by the police based on the victim's friend's statement did not match the victim's testimony.
Neeraj Kumar, however, dismissed the allegations. He said it was the same police officers who had asked the government for an SDM to get the victim's statement recorded. The SDM was briefed by the police at the Vasant Vihar police station.
"We approached the deputy commissioner from the Delhi government for an SDM to record the victim's statement. There was no lady SDM in the New Delhi district so the SDM from Vivek Vihar was sent to record the statement," Kumar said.
The commissioner also added that the parents of the victim had refused to allow the session to be videographed as the victim was in the ICU. The statement was finally recorded by the SDM in her mother's presence. "We have now got the statement of the victim recorded by a judicial magistrate under 161 CrPC .There is no dispute in the victim's statement now. The statement given by the victim is an admissible evidence," he added.