Over three years after five people were booked for the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl at a Burail hotel in 2019, a local court has acquitted all accused after the girl told the court that she was coerced by police to file a false rape complaint.
Those acquitted include the girl’s sister, her brother-in-law, his friend Praveen, who operated the hotel, and Navneet and Vikas, both natives of Hisar district in Haryana.
According to the police, the girl was raped at the hotel in May 2019. It was the girl’s brother-in-law, 27, who took her to the hotel after claiming that his children were sick and needed to be looked after. There, four unidentified men took turns to rape her and the girl’s brother-in-law also raped her the next day at the same hotel.
Later, the accused took her to a house in Ram Darbar, where Parveen raped her. As per police, the girl’s sister was aware about the crime and didn’t object to it.
Police had arrested the accused in June 2019 after booking them under Sections 376-D (gang rape) and 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act at the Sarangpur police station.
‘Never filed a complaint’
However, in court, the girl denied being raped or ever filing a complaint. In her testimony in court, she alleged that the police threatened to send her to Nari Niketan (women’s shelter home) if she did not give a tutored statement accusing the five people of gang rape. She said she did not even identify the accused and was forced to sign blank papers.
She said in reality, Praveen and his friends had spotted her with a male friend and thrashed him. Praveen had even told her sister and brother-in-law about her friend, and they had also beaten him up. In anger she had left home and gone to the Botanical Garden in Sarangpur, where she was spotted by police personnel.
Taking note of the submissions, the court of additional district and sessions judge Swati Sehgal on Wednesday acquitted all five accused. The detailed order is awaited.