In Jind Rape-Double Murder Case, Boy’s Kin Allege Police Torture
From notorious sex ratio to a state where rapes are now the norm, is Haryana becoming a ‘no man’s land’ for women?
What is her head full of?
Her head is full of whispers.
What will be silent tomorrow?
Tomorrow, the whispers will be silent.
In the village of Jhansa in Haryana, the 15-year-old girl who wrote these lines in her notebook was found dead on 12 January, three days after she went missing. She had been gangraped, her private parts mutilated. The cops suspected that an 18-year-old boy from the village, who went missing the same evening as the girl, was behind the crime. But he too was found dead on 16 January.
Close to a fortnight since the incident, even as the cops seem no closer to catching the real culprits, the boy's family alleges that the police inflicted the third degree (torture) on them during the investigation. What's worse, they claim that the cops continued the torture even after the boy’s body was recovered on 16 January near Bhakra canal in Karnal.
Even after my brother’s body was found, they kept torturing us, trying to force a confession that we had killed the two of them.Boy’s Brother, 17 years old
Amid media reports claiming that the police are now probing the possibility of ‘honour’ killings, The Quint travelled to Jhansa in Haryana’s Kurukshetra, to dig deeper into the case of this unsolved gangrape-double murder.
From Rods to Electric Shocks, Boy's Family Allege Torture by Cops
Lying in one corner of the Valmiki Dharamshala in the village, the relatives of the boy could barely move. They allege that the police tortured them, using rods and electric shocks, during the investigation after the boy was named the prime suspect in the rape and murder of the Class 10 girl in the same village.
They would give us the third degree, strip us naked, spread our legs and beat us with rods. They would also thrust our faces into a bucket of cold water.Boy’s Brother, 17 years old
The boy's 20-year old uncle and 16-year-old cousin claim that the cops used a battery torch to give them electric shocks on their private parts. The boy’s uncle even showed injury marks on his penis, which he allegedly sustained from the shocks.
The father of the boy also alleged being tortured and beaten up badly with his face thrust into ice-cold water by the police.
The family adds that the cops were careful to torture them in a way that would not leave scars or marks on their bodies. They said that is the reason why the reports of the medical test, conducted on the night of 17 January, do not show any injuries or torture.
When we questioned the investigating officer, Dheeraj Kumar, DSP (Pehowa) on these allegations of torture, the denial was instant. "Unka kehne ka kya hai? Aisa kuch nehi kiya gaya hai unke saath. (How does what they say matter? Nothing of the sort has happened.)”
When we further asked him what reason the boy's family could have to lie about this, he snapped back, "If you are in my custody, I can get you to sign on any paper within 30 minutes. So if we wanted a confession, we would have got it. There was no torture."
But isn't it true that the police resort to third-degree methods of interrogation more often than not?
The DSP retorted:
Name one country in the world that does not use the third degree on suspects.
Was it the Crime Called 'Love' That Took Their Lives?
The boy’s father told us that on 9 January, after both the youths went missing, their friends had claimed to have last spotted them near a canal in the evening and attested to the fact that they were having a love affair.
The two youngsters attended the same school and tuition classes. While their English tutor denies any knowledge of their personal relationship, call record details obtained by the police reportedly show that the two were in touch for quite some time.
In a conservative village in rural Haryana, their friendship is not looked kindly upon, even after their deaths.
I had to go to jail because they eloped. It was their mistake but now, I have to bear the brunt of it.Boy’s Father
A village local also remarked, "Of course the two of them were wrong to do what they did. The boy eloped with the girl, what happened to them shows they were wrong. If he looked at her like his sister, would something like this have taken place?"
A few hundred metres away, in another quarter of the village, a grieving father flips through the pages of his daughter’s notebooks, boasting about her excellent academic records and regretting his misfortune of never being able to see his daughter becoming a doctor.
She was a bright student preparing for her Class 10 board examinations.Girl’s Father
When we asked the girl’s family about suspicions of ‘honour’ killings in this case, the girl’s uncle reacted angrily.
These are all rumours floated around by the media. No family can kill their child with such brutality. The way she had been killed, her private parts mutilated, how can it be an ‘honour’ killing? It most definitely isn’t.Girl’s Uncle
When we asked DSP Dheeraj Kumar about the media reports that claimed the police were probing the 'honour' killing angle, he said, "We are proceeding with the investigation with all aspects in mind."
Haryana: No State for Women?
There have been 10 rapes reported in 10 days across Haryana and these are just the ones that hit the headlines or at least made their way to a newspaper.
From murdering unborn daughters to raping and killing those who survive to see the light of day, Haryana’s crimes against women continue unabated.
Having lost one daughter already, the girl's father is scared to send his 11-year-old daughter to school lest another tragedy befalls the family.
It is a cruel irony that posters of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” are strewn all across the village.
Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim & Vivek Gupta
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.