Gang-raped Punjab girl commits suicide after police 'pressure'

Patiala (Punjab), Dec 27 (IANS) A teenaged girl in this Punjab district, who alleged that she was gang-raped last month, has committed suicide, police said Thursday.

The victim committed suicide Wednesday night at her house in Badshahpur village near here, 100 km from Chandigarh, after police failed to register a case for over a month after she complained that she was gang-raped by three youth.

In her suicide note, recovered by police, the victim alleged that the local police officers had failed to register a case of rape despite her complaint. She accused them of trying to pressurize her for a compromise, humiliating her and asking her uncomfortable questions by calling her to the police station repeatedly.

Police sources here said that the Gagga police station in-charge, Sub Inspector Gurcharan Singh, has been dismissed and a probe by a senior officer ordered into the incident.

The victim wrote in the suicide note that the police officer used to call her to the police station and asked "uncomfortable" questions. Sources said that the rape accused were influential people in the area.

Police, in a later development, arrested two men and a woman in connection with the gang-rape incident.

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh expressed shock and grief over the "tragic and shameful rape of a girl and her subsequent suicide following the pressure by the police to compromise with her rapists".

In a statement in Chandigarh, Amarinder Singh said: "It is quite shocking that such heinous and shameful incidents were taking place everyday which vindicated the Congress stand that law and order situation has touched its nadir. The way these incidents are taking place the time will not be too far when the President's rule will be the only option in Punjab."

He said that dismissing lower level police officials was not the solution to the breakdown in law and order in Punjab.

"It needs to be ascertained as at whose behest the concerned SHO was trying to pressurise the girl to go for compromise that she was forced to commit suicide," he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Thursday asked state police chief Sumedh Singh Saini to suspend Patran deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Harpreet Singh and dismiss SHO Ghagga, Gurcharan Singh and investigating officer and assistant sub-inspector Nasib Singh from service with immediate effect.

He asked Saini to take immediate and strictest possible action against guilty police officers, who had delayed investigation and action against the accused in the matter. He sought a report from senior police officers within one week.