Chandigarh: With two back-to-back gang-rape cases in Haryana, police and the state establishment have been put on the defensive.

After showing virtual inaction in both cases, police seem to have gone overboard in trying to lay their hands on whatever they could to salvage the situation that was becoming an embarrassment to the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government.

The police fumbled on dealing with the latest case in which a married woman in Jind district alleged that she was gang-raped by three men on September 21 at her house at gunpoint in the presence of her family and children.

After not acting on her rape complaint for the first four days, the Jind police on Wednesday claimed that two people were arrested in this connection. However, on Thursday, when the arrested men, Surajmal and Azad Deswal, were paraded before the victim for identification, she refused to identify them as her rapists, stunning the police.

It was only Thursday that police said they had arrested the two "real accused". Jind Superintendent of Police Sourabh Singh said the accused, Billu and Rinku, who belonged to the victim's village Pillukhera, had been arrested.

Singh said raids were on to arrest the third accused. The three rapists had also filmed the crime on their mobile phone and circulated the clip in Jind district. The police swung into action on September 25 after the victim and her husband threatened to commit suicide in front of the superintendent's office if the accused were not arrested.

After the identification parade on Thursday, the rape victim alleged that the family of Sandeep, the main accused, was threatening to eliminate her if she pursued the rape case. Chief Minister Hooda could have been misled by the police when he told the media in Rohtak that all the accused in the case had been arrested.  

In reality, police had arrested only five of the 12 youths involved in the crime. Four others arrested in the case had allegedly provided shelter to the accused. The three, Vikas, Pawan and Rajkumar, now in police custody, were arrested from Almora in Uttrakhand. Two were arrested earlier.

The first gang-rape happened on September 9 and came to light only September 18 after the Dalit father of the teenaged rape victim committed suicide. In her complaint to police, the 16-year-old victim from Dabra village near Hisar said that eight youths raped her in agricultural fields near Hisar town, 250 km from Chandigarh.

Four others filmed the act on their mobile phones. Later, the MMS of the rape incident was circulated in Hisar district. While claiming that the Dabra rape case culprits would not be spared, Hooda said: "All the accused have been arrested and the law is taking its own course. "Rape is a heinous crime and there could be no pardon in such cases. Police have been directed to take strict action."


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