Chandigarh: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Haryana Police said on Sunday evening that one of the three main accused in the brutal gang-rape of a board topper in Haryana had been arrested, nearly 110 hours after the incident.
SIT chief Nazneen Bhasin said that Nishu had been nabbed. “He is being brought here,” Bhasin told the media in Rewari. She said that raids were being conducted to nab the other two main accused – soldier Pankaj and Manish.
Bhasin said the SIT had collected enough evidence linked to the case including mobile forensics and other proof to nail the accused in the court.
She said Nishu had got in touch with the tubewell owner to arrange the room after the accused kidnapped the victim and sedated her.
She said that over 100 people have been questioned and it had come to light that the same room was being used for other “wrong activities”. The SIT had earlier arrested two other persons connected with the crime.
They included tubewell room owner Deendayal, whose premises was used for the crime, and medical practitioner Sanjeev Kumar, who provided treatment to the rape victim after her condition deteriorated following the brutal sexual assault. The victim was gang-raped on September 12 after being kidnapped and sedated by the accused.
Bhasin said the victim, who had earlier got her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.PC, wanted to get a fresh statement recorded.
There is suspicion that the victim was gang-raped by up to 12 men.
The 19-year-old woman’s family on Sunday rejected the compensation cheque for Rs 2 lakh sent by the Haryana government.
“Is it the price that the Haryana government has calculated for her honour? We reject the compensation. I want justice for my daughter,” her mother said in Rewari, nearly 350 km from here.
Doctors at a Rewari hospital said that the condition of the victim, a college student, had improved though she continued to be in “shock”.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, whose government has been in the firing line for inept handling of the case by Haryana Police and the administration, on Sunday axed his engagements in Jalandhar city in Punjab and rushed back to Chandigarh to take stock of the situation.
Police accused Deendayal of handing over the keys of the room to the accused on September 12. Police claimed that the medical practitioner did not inform police despite knowing about the crime.
Bhasin said a medical examination of the woman had confirmed rape.
Police had earlier announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information about the absconding accused.
Haryana Director General of Police B.S. Sandhu admitted to lapses on the part of police in Rewari and Mahendragarh districts due to which the accused absconded.
Haryana Police has faced flak for treating the gang rape casually initially by citing jurisdictional issues, losing crucial time and evidence to nab the accused.
Rewari Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajesh Duggal was removed from his post on Sunday by the Haryana government. He has been replaced by Rahul Sharma.
The accused, who belong to the same village as the victim and knew her, allegedly kidnapped the victim from Kanina bus stand while she was on her way for coaching classes on Wednesday.
She said that they gave her sedative-laced water to drink and gang-raped her in a room in agricultural fields till she fell unconscious. They later dumped her at a bus stop near her village.
Accused Manish even called up her father and told him to pick her from the bus stand. The victim had topped board examinations and was felicitated by the government for her academic achievement.