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Family, neighbours of accused in Ghaziabad gangrape case put up united front, allege ‘conspiracy’

Ghaziabad: The Ghaziabad Police Thursday said that the alleged abduction and gangrape of a 38-year-old woman, which came to light Tuesday, is a “fabricated” case and a “conspiracy” to resolve a property dispute between the woman and one of the five accused.

The police Thursday arrested three people — Azad, Gaurav and Afzal — in connection with the alleged conspiracy. According to the police, Azad was allegedly known to the woman and the other two were acquaintances of Azad. Sources said that action will also be taken against the woman after analysis of her medical examination report.

Investigating officer Alok Dubey told ThePrint that none of the five initial suspects has been arrested so far, only one man named Shahrukh from among them has been called in for questioning.

“During the investigation, some facts raised doubts, the police called somebody known to the ‘rape’ survivor who revealed during their confession that it was a conspiracy,” Deeksha Sharma, SP (Crime), Ghaziabad told ThePrint.

The main motive of the alleged crime, added SP Sharma, was to grab the disputed property for which two civil cases are ongoing in the court.

ThePrint also visited the disputed house located in Delhi’s Kabir Nagar, where a woman named Shamina lives with her daughter Shayda. Shamina identified herself as the mother of two of the five men accused by the woman — Javed and Shahrukh.

Speaking to ThePrint, Shamina said that they have no clue about Javed’s whereabouts and Shahrukh is under police custody. She added that they don’t know the woman whose brother made the complaint of gangrape against her sons.

Deeksha Sharma, SP (Crime), Ghaziabad | Credit: Praveen Jain, ThePrint

Deeksha Sharma, SP (Crime), Ghaziabad | Credit: Praveen Jain, ThePrintThe police said that they have confessions from the arrested and evidence which helped them arrive at the conclusion that the charges were fabricated. These include evidence from Azad’s phone showing plans being made to spread the word in the media even before the alleged crime was committed, the GPS location of the accused not being at the crime spot and the recovery of a red Alto car that was purportedly used to set up the “crime scene”. The woman in her FIR, which ThePrint has accessed, had alleged that she was abducted in a Scorpio car.

ThePrint tried to contact the woman’s brother but his number was switched off.

Speaking to another media house, the brother had reportedly said that he had not been informed of the latest arrests by the police and added that the police “refuting” the kidnapping and gangrape were likely doing so under pressure. The property, he said, belong to his sister and that she pays the electricity bills for the house. The five men, accused by the woman, he added, have “occupied it forcibly” and have been threatening her to withdraw the court case.

The news of the alleged abduction and gangrape, which went viral on social media, triggered a response from the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal Wednesday who compared it to the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case and issued a notice to the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ghaziabad, asking for details of the action taken in the matter and arrests of the accused.

Maliwal also wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has since sought a high-level enquiry into the matter.

Also read: Ropes, tapes & an ‘escape’ plan — how 14-year-old adopted daughter ‘killed’ father in Ghaziabad

Police dismisses ‘Nirbhaya-like case’

Nipun Agarwal, Superintendent of Police (City-I) Ghaziabad, Wednesday said that the victim claimed that after raping her, the accused had “inserted an iron rod in her private parts”, but when the police tried to get her medical examination done at a hospital in Meerut, she had refused.

“The police first took the woman to MMG hospital (in Ghaziabad), but she refused to undergo an examination even by a female doctor there. She wanted treatment at GTB hospital,” SP Sharma said to ThePrint.

Sharma added that she is undergoing treatment at the hospital and is under observation. The ‘foreign object’ and the rape kit have been sealed and sent for Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) exam. The police will provide a statement post-analysis of the report.

According to the complaint made by the woman’s brother in the FIR accessed by ThePrint, she told him that she was waiting for an auto at the Delhi-Ashram Road after having visited his place in Ghaziabad on his birthday on the night of 16 October. She alleged that after some time, she was forcibly made to get into a Scorpio at gunpoint by four persons named Deenu, Shahrukh, Javed and Dhola and was taken to an unknown place where a man named Aurangzeb was already present. All are allegedly known to the woman, the FIR states.

She alleged that they gangraped and tortured her and then, tying her hands and legs while she was unconscious, they put her in a jute bag and took her in a car to “dump” her at some place, the complaint said.

In her letter to the CM, which ThePrint has accessed, Maliwal wrote: “The woman narrated a horrific ordeal, on the basis of which the Commission took up her matter and issued a notice to UP police on 19.10.2022 as the girl was a resident of Delhi.”

The DCW had accessed the medico-legal case (MLC) records of the survivor which stated that the patient was tied with a rope, had been bitten on her breasts, had abrasions on her thighs and neck, was bleeding and that an ‘iron rod, around 5-6 cm long’ was removed from her vagina. The details were mentioned in the letter.

Maliwal has termed the developments as “shocking and deeply disturbing” and said that it should be examined as to who inflicted these injuries on the woman.

She added that in case it is proved beyond doubt that the girl was actively involved in hatching a conspiracy against the men and that she is not a victim but instead a perpetrator, then strong action should be taken against her and the others under Section 182 (giving false information) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The arrests and the disputed house

ThePrint visited Ghaziabad’s Nandgram police station to understand the details of the conspiracy.

According to SP Sharma, their first doubts came with Azad’s testimony. “The man initially denied being near the spot, but evidence showed that the man was near the spot around the time of the crime and also when the police reached the woman,” she told ThePrint.

As the investigation went on, the officer claimed that they found evidence on his phone of spreading the word in the media even before the alleged crime had taken place. The people he contacted to help with the conspiracy also confessed to the crime and there was evidence to corroborate the same, she said.

The police then recovered a red Alto car which, they claimed, was used in the conspiracy. The owner of the red Alto is one of the arrested persons, said the police, but did not specify who.

Shamina with her daughter Shayda at the house in Kabir Nagar, Delhi | Credit: Praveen Jain, ThePrint
Shamina with her daughter Shayda at the house in Kabir Nagar, Delhi | Credit: Praveen Jain, ThePrint

Meanwhile, in Kabir Nagar, Shamina told ThePrint that she has been living in the house under dispute for the past 35-40 years. Shamina’s family had taken a loan of Rs 2 lakh from Azad at a 10 per cent interest and said that she has been paying him back in installments of Rs 20,000 every month.

“Azad gave us money from his sala (brother-in-law) and got me to sign the power of attorney about a year ago,” said Shamina, adding that she has paid back the entire money but has not received the documents yet.

Her daughter Shayda said that she is “uneducated” and that Azad fraudulently got her to “sign some documents”. Shamina also claimed that it was their house and that they have been paying the electricity bill and house tax for the property.

“My sons (Javed and Shahrukh) have been previously implicated in theft cases and sent to jail and were released from Muradnagar police station as the allegations were wrong,” said Shamina. According to Shayda, though, it was Azad who committed the thefts, and has also gone to jail multiple times.

Shamina also said that the Ghaziabad Police has been helpful in the present case and that the neighbours, too, have been supportive. One such neighbour, Shabila, told ThePrint, “Even neighbours have been falsely named, such as Dhola, Deenu, and Aurangzeb, as they help Shamina’s family. That’s why they have been dragged into this (sic).”

“They are threatening us so that they can snatch the house from us,” said Shamina.

Of the initial five suspects, the Ghaziabad police Wednesday had said that four people had been taken into custody following the allegation of the woman.

During a press conference Thursday, when asked if a clean chit will be given to the four of them, Inspector General, Meerut, Praveen Kumar, said, “We have not got any evidence against them…Prima facie, in this case, no such incident has taken place. So, there is no question of getting evidence.”

On the woman’s claim that she was kidnapped, the officer had said, “No. She had gone to a designated place of her own will.”

ThePrint tried to reach Maliwal, but had not received a response at the time of publishing this report.

(Edited by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri)

Source: The Print

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