Possibility of gangrape inside patrolling van not ruled out

ChandigrahYoga guru Baba Ramdev outside the gangrape victim’shouse in Khuda Lahora on Saturday. Kamleshwar Singh

Not ruling out the possibility that the 17-year-old girl was gangraped in a police vehicle, a team of Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) on Saturday searched three PCR vans in which the five accused patrolled in the last three months. Victim's laywer, Berjeshwar S Jaswal, said, the girl was physically assaulted in a PCR vehicle. However, it is yet to be established whether the girl was also raped inside the vehicle.

A few blankets were collected by a team of the biology division of CFSL. The three vans as well as the two rooms rented by four of the five accused were inspected by CFSL on Saturday. Sources said, police collected the uniform and other belongings of the accused from the two rooms.

"We want to check every possible angle in the case. Therefore, we have not ruled out the possibility of rape inside the PCR vehicle. We have formed an SIT to investigate the case. Still, if the family wants the case to be transferred to an independent agency, we have no objection," said IG RP Upadhyaya. Five cops –Akshay, Sunil, Himmat, Jagtar and Anil— have been dismissed from service after they were accused of gangrape by a Class X student. Akshay had been staying in one of the two rooms for the past two years while Himmat was staying with him for the past seven-eight months. Sunil and Jagtar had rented a room about a month ago.

Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev visited the victim's family on Saturday, and assured them financial support for the girl's education and marriage. "We have come here to support the family. We have told them not to fear anybody, not even the Chandigarh police. We will ask for a fast track investigation and trial," said Ramdev.

However, father of the victim was unsatisfied with Ramdev's visit. "I am not sure if Ramdev would deliver the tall promises he made to us. We just want the accused to get the harshest possible punishment," he said. Five constables of the Chandigarh police were booked for allegedly gangraping a 17-year-old girl, multiple times at gunpoint for the past one-and-a-half months. All the accused have been arrested and dismissed from service.

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