In a dramatic twist, the Chandigarh police on Monday arrested the “victim” of the Bathinda rape case along with a male friend, on the charge of making a false complaint to settle a score.

Addressing a press conference at Bathinda, Inspector General Nirmal Singh Dhillon and district police chief Ravicharan Singh Brar confirmed the arrest of the “victim” and her friend, Rohtas Kumar.

Earlier, major reactions had erupted following the news that a 24-year-old woman, who was a nurse, had been gang-raped after she was abducted from the main bus terminus here. She alleged that her assaulters threw her from a moving car on the Bathinda-Dabwali road at a spot nearly 250 km from Chandigarh. She was rescued by the occupants of another vehicle, who took her to the Bathinda civil hospital, where she stayed till Monday morning. Her rescuer was identified as Rohtas Kumar.

The alleged victim is out on bail in an attempt to murder case, which was registered at Khuian Sarvar police station in Fazilka district last year by a woman, Kanta, who had alleged that her husband Sunil Kumar, a lab technician, along with the alleged rape victim, administered injections that left her HIV-positive. Kanta also alleged that the duo had tortured her regularly.

According to the police officials, the ‘victim,’ Sunil and Rohtas drew up a plan to get back at Kanta and her family by exploiting the prevailing ferment in the country. Accordingly, the woman made a false complaint of rape in which Kanta, her mother and two male relatives were named.

Investigations revealed that the so-called victim had never gone to Chandigarh but had stayed with Rohtas Kumar and they ‘cooked up’ evidence to support the rape charge.

Police said that Kanta, against whom the woman had made the allegations of abducting her, was restricted in her movements after she underwent surgery on January 13. The Bathinda police have formed a special investigation team to look into the case and have sent out teams to arrest some others.