Sheila asks Shinde to probe ‘interference’ by top cops in recording victim’s statement

FP

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has asked Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to order a "high-level independent inquiry" into the "interference" by top police officials when an executive magistrate sought to record the 23-year-old gangrape victim's statement at Safdarjung Hospital on Saturday.

In her note to Shinde on Monday, Dikshit has cited a letter sent to her by Deputy Commissioner (East) B M Mishra on Saturday following a complaint from Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Vivek Vihar) Usha Chaturvedi in this regard.

According to Mishra's letter, Chaturvedi faced "interference" from "ACPs and DCP of Delhi Police, while recording the statement of the rape victim". Dikshit noted that the contents of the SDM's complaint and Mishra's letter were "alarming and serious".

In her complaint sent to Mishra on Saturday, Chaturvedi said that when she reached Safdarjung Hospital, DCP (South), ACP (Vasant Vihar) and ACP (Defence Colony) were also present. The police officers reportedly asked her to record the victim's statement as per a questionnaire prepared by them.

Chaturvedi has also claimed that the briefing she got from these police officials, based on the statement of the victim's friend and their investigations, did not match the victim's actual statement.

"They tried to pressurise me to record the statement as per their convenience and when I refused, they misbehaved and tried to intimidate me. Also, a huge amount of time was wasted over the issue of videography during the recording of the statement of the victim as the police were trying to dissuade me from doing this. Finally, the videography was not carried out as the mother of the victim refused the same," wrote Chaturvedi.

She said that she was finally "able to start the recording of the statement of the victim at around 8 pm after forcibly evicting the police personnel from the ICU".

Mishra had already sent a copy of Chaturvedi's complaint to Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna, the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary of Delhi.

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