Moga (Punjab): Four people have been arrested in connection with the case where a teenage girl died after being thrown out of a moving bus for resisting molestation in Moga district of Punjab.
The conductor and cleaner of the bus, reportedly belonging to a company owned by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's family, were arrested by the police yesterday afternoon. Remaining two accused, both passengers, were also arrested later in the day.
The incident occurred on Wednesday evening close to Gill village, 10 km from Moga Moga-Kotkapura road.
Girl's mother, who was also thrown out of the bus, sustained serious injuries and is in a hospital.
Moga's SP (Detective) HS Pannu told PTI that the injured woman in her statement said that she and her 16-year-old daughter were allegedly molested and harassed by the conductor, cleaner and one more unidentified person on the bus.
"Later on, they were pushed and thrown outside the moving bus by the accused," he said. Police had earlier said that the two had allegedly jumped off the bus to escape the molesters.
Pannu said the bus has been impounded and a case has been registered under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
"The bus conductor Sukhwinder and cleaner Gurdeep have been arrested. We are trying to nab the third accused in the case," Moga SSP Jatinder Singh Khaira said.
Police claimed the woman had not levelled any charge against the bus driver.
"The bus driver stopped the vehicle on one side of the road when he came to know what had happened. Initially, he feared that he may be thrashed by the public, but later on he cooperated with the investigations and we recorded his version.
"He is not on our list of accused," Pannu said following allegations that the driver too had colluded with the accused.
Pannu said both mother and daughter were travelling in the near empty bus from Moga to Bhagapurana. He said the helper of the bus started molesting the mother and continued to ignore her repeated pleas to let her go. Joined by other accused, the three allegedly did not spare her daughter and molested her as well.
The woman's 10-year-old son was also accompanying them at the time of the incident. However, he continued to remain seated inside the bus and was later handed over to the family by the police.
The woman and her daughter were not helped by passers-by for several hours either and were taken to the hospital after her family members arrived.
After it was reported that the bus belonged to a company owned by Badals, the family came under attack from opposition over the incident with Congress demanding a judicial inquiry into the incident claiming that local authorities will never be able to act fairly due to the political links of the firm.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the incident was "very unfortunate" and promised swift action against the guilty even as he insisted he "never took interest" in the company's affairs and had "never visited its office".
Raising the issue in Lok Sabha, the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress members stormed the Well, leading to brief adjournment.
(With inputs from agencies)