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Updated: December 26, 2012 04:14 IST
Delhi gang-rape case

Sheila Dikshit, police lock horns over interference in victim’s statement

Delhi Bureau
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Students protesting against the recent gang-rape of a student, outside Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's residence in New Delhi. File photo Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu
Students protesting against the recent gang-rape of a student, outside Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's residence in New Delhi. File photo Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The day after the protests subsided, political turf wars broke out in the capital over a complaint by a Sub-Divisional Magistrate that the police wanted to influence the statement of the rape victim, which would play a key role in the trial slated to begin early January.

Escalating the complaint, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wrote to the Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde demanding a high-level probe into the alleged misconduct by police officers. Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar hit back saying that the East Delhi SDM Usha Chaturvedi had interfered with police functioning in the past and levelled similar allegations.

Ms. Dikshit has recently been critical of the handling of Delhi’s law and order situation by the police which is controlled by the Central government.

Earlier in the day, the Police Commissioner attended the funeral of 46-year-old Constable Subhash Chand Tomar, who after being grievously injured during the clashes between the police and the protesters at India Gate here on Sunday, passed away at Lohia Hospital in the morning. Mr. Kumar announced ex-gratia and monetary compensation to the constable’s family besides a job to one of the family members on compassionate grounds.

In a letter to Deputy Commissioner (East) B.M. Mishra who forwarded it to Ms. Dikshit, Ms. Chaturvedi said that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Delhi), Assistant Commissioners of Police of Vasant Vihar and Defence Colony sub-divisions were present at Safdarjung Hospital along with a huge entourage of police personnel when she arrived there to record the victim’s statement.

“They showed me a copy of questionnaire…and asked me to record them as facts in the presence of the investigating officer. That brief was far from the actual events of the night of the crime as discovered by me while recording the statement of the victim later. They tried to pressurise me to record the statement as per their convenience and when I refused, they misbehaved and tried to intimidate me,” alleged the SDM, adding that the police also did not allow videography of the statement on the pretext that the victim’s mother had raised an objection.

Refuting the charges, Neeraj Kumar said the police on their own had decided to get the victim’s statement recorded by an SDM in the wake of her deteriorating condition.

“The police briefed her about the case and also took her to the hospital where the victim’s mother raised objections on videography of the statement. We had not given any questionnaire to the SDM as being alleged,” said Mr. Kumar.

The Police Commissioner said had that been the case, the SDM should not have proceeded further and lodged a complaint instead. He further demanded a probe into the leaking of Ms. Dikshit’s letter to the Home Minister.

Vital signs improve

Meanwhile, doctors at Safdarjung Hospital said that while the patient’s liver function was compromised her vital parameters had improved marginally although she continued to be on ventilator support. “The patient is psychologically stable, conscious and communicative,” general surgeon Sunil Jain said.

With traffic restrictions being eased and metro stations opening, the situation in the heart of the Capital improved on Tuesday even though protesters in small groups turned up at Jantar Mantar.

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The reference to the policemans death as caused 'by a grievous injury' is now known to be
incorrect. I wonder then why the reporter of this article made this reference without basis.

from:  jagan
Posted on: Dec 26, 2012 at 17:20 IST

Dr Verma & Rakesh are correct. A common man is not having any faith on
police because more than 99.99% are corrupt. Favoring the rapist in
statement recording show some thing other wise. There are many cases
reported in media of getting favored certificates of postmortem and
forensic to save the victim.
It is high time to make a law of "responsibility" of police. Many
times judges shout on police in fake cases but can not punish them
because law of the nation favored them.
Unfortunately our home minister is from the same cadre of "police". He can overhaul them and can put a bill of reformation. Lets see what his
action for future comes.

from:  Helal
Posted on: Dec 26, 2012 at 09:21 IST

Even at the height of such attention this case has generated , if
complaints like this can be discussed - it only shows something is not
alright in the system. A non-emotive PM and a Home minister who believes
his working on a Sunday can solve all issues and who keeps saying that
he is HM only for 4 months and hence cannot do much - UPA 2 seems to
have lost its script somewhere.

from:  K.C.Sekhar
Posted on: Dec 26, 2012 at 08:42 IST

The complaint of the Sub Divisional Magistrate preferred against Delhi police lends credence to the notion that the latter wields the authority,hard to be questioned even by the legal wing. The enquiry triggered after the outrage of the public who fought pitched battle for a week in Parliament road may get hampered through this alleged arm -twisting of Delhi police. The centre could do well to ensure justice through fair and proper trial without giving rooms for any speculation.

from:  C.Chandrasekaran
Posted on: Dec 26, 2012 at 06:06 IST

It is irrelevant who leaked the letter.The main question is police
officials obstructed SDM from recording the statement of the victim.It
is funny to argue the other way.The police should be impartial and
prevent crimes.The police shown on TV in these days in various channel
can't run even for 200 meters and their physical fitness is zero. The
police who obstructed SDM must be given the same punishment as of the
Rapists in this episode.

from:  Dr.Srinivasa Varma
Posted on: Dec 25, 2012 at 14:51 IST

Ha !!! a “non-issue” !!!
Police misbehaving with a sub district magistrate (who happens to be
woman) and interfering and preventing video recording of a rape victim
is “non-issue” !!! If she dies without a statement, her rapists will go
scot-free .. Of course that is not an issue with Police !!

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Dec 25, 2012 at 14:47 IST
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