What did they open first, shirt or jeans: Cops asked
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"How did they touch your chest? Did they first open the jeans or the shirt? How many times did they rape you? Who touched you first?"
These are some of the questions that the 18-year-old gangrape victim who committed suicide in Badshahpur village of Patiala district on Wednesday was asked at the police checkpost in their village by cops, says her mother Surjit Kaur.
Paramjit Kaur's father, a Jat Sikh, works as a chawkidar in godowns nearby. The youngest of four siblings, she was allegedly picked up on Diwali night (November 13) by accused Gurpreet Singh, Balwinder Singh and Sandeep Singh, of nearby Kheri Nagayan village. A woman neighbour allegedly helped the accused.
"We were looking for her that night near the river bridge," says Surjit. "She seemed inebriated on reaching home around 9.30 pm. Next day morning, she told us about the incident. They had forced her to drink liquor and then raped her."
Though they went to the police post, Surjit adds, "no case was registered till November 27". She was left near the village gurdwara and three men saw her being thrown, the mother says, but all have refused to stand witness. "They told us she walked back taking support of walls of houses in the village."
Paramjit's elder sister Charanjit, who teaches in a school, said they shifted her to her aunt's house at Samana on November 29, but the "harassment" by the alleged rapists continued. Finally, 44 days after the rape, the sister says: "She consumed some poisonous substance around 5 pm on Wednesday and died late in the night." The next day, the three accused were finally arrested.
As police, media and politicians swarmed Badshahpur, a few "well-off" neighbours in the village alleged that the victim went willingly as she was known to one of the accused, Sandeep Singh.