The vigilance inquiry into allegations of lapses on the part of the Delhi Police in carrying investigations in the kidnapping and brutal gang-rape of a five-year-old girl at Gandhi Nagar in East Delhi has found the area Station House Officer prima facie guilty of dereliction of duty.

The vigilance inquiry report has been submitted to the Police Headquarters with its findings on allegations of negligence against the local police in swiftly pursuing the complaint lodged by the victim’s mother after she was found missing from her residence around 6 p.m. on April 15. “Acts of omission and commission have been established in the vigilance enquiry. Based on the findings, action has been initiated and departmental enquiry instituted against the SHO,” said a senior police officer.

Police sources said the SHO, who was suspended along with the investigating officer of the case, was supposed to supervise the case which he did not. Questions are also being raised whether he had sent any Special Initial Report (SIR) to the district headquarters to apprise his supervisory officers of the case, which is mandatory in such heinous cases. The SIR has to be sent within 24 hours in order to enable the supervisory officer to issue necessary instructions given that heinous cases are considered to be of sensitive nature. Subsequently, the SHO is required to send reports periodically to apprise his seniors of the developments in the case.

The probe team has also found that soon after the girl’s mother reported the matter to the police station and the case registered, the local police did not visit the spot immediately. Nor did they call in the crime team to collect evidence from there.

The girl’s uncle had earlier alleged that although the police registered a case, they did not initiate efforts to trace the child. The local police rather insisted on following routine procedures of collecting the victim’s photographs of various sizes from her family. He further alleged that the family members were made to wait at the police station for several hours. “They did not even search the building from where she went missing,” said the uncle.

“Around 6-30 a.m. on April 17, some tenants living on the ground floor heard cries coming from a locked room on the ground floor of the same building. They alerted us after which we broke the lock and found the girl lying there in a horrifying condition. There are no words to describe what we saw,” said the uncle. There were ligature marks around the victim’s neck suggesting that an attempt was made to kill her. She had been brutalised and three candles and a hair-old bottle had been inserted inside her.

The police have arrested Manoj Sah, who had taken the room on rent a few days ago, and his accomplice Pradeep Kumar, for their alleged involvement in the crime.

Another inquiry by the Delhi Government against Assistant Commissioner of Police B. S. Ahlawat, who had slapped a young protester at Swami Dayanand Hospital, is still under way.

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