I was tortured: Ruchika's brother Court papers bare agony

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 25.12.09
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A candle-light vigil in New Delhi to seek a fresh investigation into the case. (PTI)

New Delhi, Dec. 24 (PTI): Ruchika Girhotra’s brother Aashu was tortured in police stations in the presence of S.P.S. Rathore after his sister’s molestation complaint against the ex-top cop, the boy’s statement to a court has revealed.

“They tortured me. My hands were tied on my back and I was made to bend. My feet were tied with a weight. I was kept in this position for 10-15 minutes,” Aashu, who was about 20 years old then, had said on September 3, 2002, before a sessions court in Patiala. The statement has been accessed now.

He was giving an account of what happened inside a police station in Haryana’s Mansa Devi where he was kept after being picked up by plainclothes men on October 23, 1993, two months before Ruchika committed suicide.

Punjab and Haryana High Court had suo motu directed the sessions court to inquire into Aashu’s torture allegations. A few years later, the high court asked the CBI to probe the molestation case.

“After some time, S.P.S. Rathore also came there (in the police station). He asked the police officers whether they had served (punished) me. They told Rathore they will torture me more,” Aashu told the court.

Aashu alleged that the police officers threatened him for entering into a dispute with Rathore. “Why have you taken panga (started a dispute) with a senior police officer like Rathore and why have your sister and father taken up the matter (molestation complaint) against him,” he quoted the cops as telling him after one beating session.

In his six-page statement, Aashu alleged that he was repeatedly picked up by Haryana police and third-degree torture inflicted on him.

On one occasion, Aashu said he was made to lie on the ground with a pestle being rolled over his legs and thighs while a constable sat on it.

“Rathore use to ask me if I have changed my mind or not.… He also told me that my father would not be able to bear the torture which I was going through,” Aashu said in the statement.

On another occasion, Aashu said he was taken to his house by policemen who abused him in front of his sister and father. Once his house was searched, he was taken back to the police station after being paraded on the streets handcuffed.

SPS Rathore

“I was put into the jeep in the midnight of December 29 (1993)... only to be pushed out after being told that their (policemen’s) job was over and that I should go back home,” Aashu said.

After spending the night in the garage as his house was locked, Aashu was taken inside next morning by his father and told that his sister had committed suicide. “Even the funeral of my sister was over when I came back,” he said.

“Rathore told me I should prevail over my sister and father to withdraw the complaint or he would get me implicated in a number of cases and I would remain in the police station/jail my whole life.”

Aashu told the court he and his sister were very emotionally attached as their mother was dead. After Ruchika was expelled from her school over the molestation complaint, she started confining herself to the house out of fear because whenever she use to step out, “she was harassed by people of Rathore by using vulgar language”, Aashu said in the statement.