Shillong, Feb 06:
The East Khasi Hills police today said that the 14-year-old minor girl, who was alleged kidnapped and gang-raped on the evening of January 29, made up the story out of fear.
“On the evening of January 30, the family members have given a statement to the police stating that the entire narrative, speculations that the victim was kidnapped and gang raped are all false. The girl has made up this whole story to her family members out of fear,” East Khasi Hills SP, Claudia A. Lyngwa told reporters after briefing the Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment on the status of the investigation of this case here today.
It may be mentioned that the SP along with the officials of the Health department were summoned by the Assembly Committee to get more information about the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of the 14-year-old minor girl.
Meanwhile, the SP said that the question of consensual does not arise since she is only 14 years old adding that there cannot be consent for any sexual relationship.
She also informed that the police have prayed to the court to delete the sections which were given as per the first FIR submitted by the mother of the child that the victim was kidnapped and gang raped.
“The investigation will just be as per various sections of the POCSO Act. The driver of the bus was arrested on the ground of having sexual relationship with the minor girl,” Lyngwa said.
Informing that the victim and bus driver were in a relationship, the SP said that the cuts and bruises were self inflicted because the girl was too scared.
Earlier, Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment chairperson, Ampareen Lyngdoh said that it was not a gang rape case adding that the narrative of this sensitive case needs to change immediately to enlighten the public that no such thing had happened. “We appreciate the Ganesh Das Hospital authorities for not disclosing any information with the media or NGOs about this case. The identity of the child has to be maintained,” Ampareen said.
She also congratulated the SP and her team for the exceptional effort put in to ensure that some clarity on this case was shared with the committee.
“We want to give an assurance that the matter is being tackled adequately by both the medical officials as well as the police,” Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment chairperson said.
Replying to a question as to what made the committee change its stand when it had earlier questioned the lack of seriousness on the part of the police to investigate this case, Ampareen said “We called the concerned officials to get clarity on the matter. We are not investigators or medical experts. We are just a committee who seek clarity about the information which we have received,” she said.
To a question about the claims made by the family members that the doctors of Ganesh Das Hospital had stated it was consensual, Ampareen said this was an allegation made by the family members. “The doctors have given clarity on the matter and also briefed on the measures which have been taken for the safety of the child. We are satisfied with the briefing given to us on this case. We will now prepare our report accordingly,” she added.