Godda, Jan. 29: They would have made better scriptwriters for films. While the two policemen accused of gangrape of women in their custody, were today ordered to report to the Police Lines pending inquiry, the case diary records their vivid imagination.
They arrested the three women for killing one Deva (50) on January 7. While the deceased was last seen staggering home after imbibing country liquor at the village haat, his body with his head smashed was found on the hillside. The FIR, however, did not name anybody and made no mention of the women.
But the women were picked up on January 9, claimed the police today, because the brother of one of them had died of snake-bite around Diwali last year. According to the colourful story given out by the Sundarpahari police, the women suspected Deva of having used black magic to send the snake.
There is of course no evidence adduced by the police. Nor is their case likely to convince any court of law. But the women, and the two men, have not only spent three weeks in custody but the women claim to have been humiliated, paraded naked, raped and tortured and the men even urinated when the women asked for water.
What’s even worse, the women have had no legal assistance whatsoever. No lawyer represents them and they cannot hire lawyers either. The assistant public prosecutor claimed that the GR section in the court had not yet sent the records from the CJM’s court and hence legal aid could not be offered.
But while the policemen continue to claim innocence, the female chowkidar at the Sundarpahari police station, Budhni, was candid in telling The Telegraph today that the “bara babu” (the OC) had ordered her to produce the women in his residential quarter on the evening of January 9.
She herself had been directed to spend the night in the residential quarter of the “chhota babu” (the ASI) in his absence. Both the OC and the ASI are accused of raping the three women on two consecutive nights.
The women broke down before the inquiry team, set up by the DC, today and claimed that the inebriated policemen treated them “worse than animals”.
Although the women were officially arrested on January 11, they claim to have been held on January 9. They narrated their ordeal before deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto after he rushed to Godda this evening and met them in jail.
The women claimed before the inquiry team that the two male relatives were arrested after they came looking for them at the police station. When the men enquired why the women had been arrested, they were beaten up and pushed into the lock-up, they claimed.
This apparently is not the first time the Sundarpahari police station has hit the headlines for “rape in custody”. In 1989, the then officer in-charge, Bijoy Kumar, had been accused of being involved in a gangrape. Policemen had been suspended after national leaders like Chandra Shekhar and Ram Vilas Paswan visited the remote hamlet following an uproar.