Haryana Police has nabbed one of the three main accused in the Rewari gang rape case, hours after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar reviewed with DGP BS Sandhu the progress in investigation. After the meeting, the CM shunted out the district police chief for inaction in the matter.
As pressure built on it to act swiftly, the police arrested a registered medical practitioner, who first attended to the woman, and a villager on whose property she was found.
"Within 30 hours the SIT has arrested two people - Deen Dayal and Dr Sanjeev. The main accused Nishu has been nabbed, he is on his way," Nuh SP Naazneen Bhasin told media on Sunday evening.
"Deen Dayal is owner of the tube-well where the incident took place. Sanjeev is a doctor who was found to be involved, as per all our evidence. The main accused Nishu, had pre-planned this and then called the doctor to the spot later," she added.
The senior police official further added that Dr Sanjeev’s involvement has been proved as it was in his knowledge that the girl was held by the three boys and she was not conscious about the things happening. "He was part of the plan till the end and he didn't inform any authority," Nuh SP Bhasin told media.
"Deen Dayal is owner of the tube-well. It's proved that he knew for which activity this place was about to be used. On basis of mobile forensics, it's proved that Nishu contacted him to inform that they need a room. It was all pre-planned," Bhasin said.
On a question about the absconding accused, who is an Army personnel, Nuh SP assured that even as he is absconding he will be arrested soon.
Khattar, who had a scheduled event in Jalandhar in Punjab, cut short his visit and reached Chandigarh in the afternoon, official sources said.
The chief minister summoned the Director General of Police (DGP) to his office to review the progress in the investigation. The chief minister directed Sandhu to ensure arrest of all the accused at the earliest.
Sharing the details of his meeting with the CM, the DGP said, "CM called me and discussed this heinous crime. I briefed him about the whole incident,the investigation done by police and the action taken." On the question of inaction by local police, the senior official revealed that the CM transferred the Rewari SP.
"We have arrested two people - Deen Dayal the owner of the area where incident took place and Dr Sanjeev who provided first-aid to victim. They have given a lot of info. We are working on that information. Main accused will be arrested very soon, Haryana DGP said.
Rewari SP Rajesh Duggal, who has been accused of failing to take prompt action, has been shunted out and will be replaced by the SP of chief minister's security, Rahul Sharma. Duggal will now lead a battalion of Haryana Armed Police in Hisar.
The victim's family had alleged that police had failed to take prompt action on their complaint and delayed action by citing jurisdiction issue between police units of Rewari and Mahendergarh districts.
The woman, a school topper hailing from Rewari who had been felicitated by the government, was abducted at a bus stop in Kanina town in neighbouring Mahendragarh district on Wednesday while she was on the way to a coaching class, police said.
She was then allegedly drugged and gangraped at a secluded spot.
The woman was recovered from a room housing a tubewell for irrigation.
The owner of the property, Deendayal, who was among the two people arrested, told police that the three key accused had taken keys to the room from him on the day of the incident.
The police claimed Deendayal knew about the crime, but did not report it.
Police continued raids in Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and some other states to nab the three key accused, a senior official, who is part of the investigation, said Sunday.
"Multiple teams are at job to nab them. We are hopeful of arresting the accused soon," he said.
Some people have also been rounded up for questioning in connection with the case, police sources said.
"The accused should be hanged"
The woman's family members told reporters in Rewari on Sunday that the woman was in "acute trauma".
"The accused should be hanged," the woman's mother told reporters in her village in Rewari.
She also said that the family has decided to return a cheque of Rs 2 lakh handed over to them Saturday by district administration officials under the Haryana Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013.
"We do not want this cheque. Is this the price which is being put for honour of my daughter. All we want is justice. We used to hear about long arm of the law, but what is police doing. The accused are yet to be arrested," she said.
Police have provided security to the victim's family.
Doctors at the civil hospital, Rewari, said that the victim's condition was stable, though she was in trauma.
The Haryana Police had set up a special investigation team headed by Mewat SP Naazneen Bhasin, and announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the accused.
Police had Saturday released photographs and names of the accused, who have been identified as Army jawan Pankaj, Manish and Nishu.
The accused live in the same village in Rewari and they knew the woman and her family, police said.
Lt Gen Cherish Mathson, who heads the South Western Command of the Army, had said in Jaipur Saturday that they would help the police in the probe.
The victim's father has said 8 or 10 men may have raped her but she could identify only three of them.
The case evoked sharp reaction from opposition parties who have demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on moral grounds, saying the state had failed to protect its daughters.
(With inputs from PTI)