The police, according to the victim, had initially booked the three youths on charges of criminal intimidation, an offence which is non-bailable in Chandigarh. However, charges of criminal intimidation (Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code) were not included in the FIR. All other sections under which the three have been booked are bailable offences.
“When I had approached the police alleging that the three youths had attempted to outrage my modesty, I was given a slip which contained sections of criminal intimidation along with other charges. However, the same charge was not recorded in the FIR,” said Komal Kohli, a resident of Mohali, adding that the slip was still with her. The incident had happened around 3:30 pm on Wednesday near Sector 42 market.
While Sector 36 SHO Bhupinder Singh said “I was never told about this allegation that she was dragged by the youths”, the victim said “police are telling a white lie”. “I had repeatedly told them that the youths dragged me inside the vehicle,” she told Chandigarh Newsline.
Assuring that appropriate action will be taken on the victim’s statements, Inspector General of Police P K Srivastva said “the charges will not be minimised at any cost”.
“I have not read the FIR. I will look into the matter,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Naunihal Singh.
The trio, in their early 20s, Lakhbir, Karan and Khushwinder, were arrested but released on bail in a few hours. Lakhbir is the son of a sweet shop owner in Sector 21 while Khushwinder is the son of a driver and his mother is a clerk.
“I fail to understand why the police are going soft on the accused who have been booked for non-bailable offences,” said Komal’s father Harish Kohli. “When my daughter and her friend have informed the police that the accused tried to pull her into their car, why were they not booked on charges of abduction?”
Maintaining that an abduction case should have been registered, advocate N K Nanda said, “When the girl has alleged that she was dragged in the vehicle, the police should have registered a case of attempt to abduct at least. ”
On Wednesday, Komal and her friend Himani Khurana, both final year BA students of the government college in Sector 42, were walking to the local bus stop when Komal was allegedly attacked by three youths.
“We were crossing the market when three persons in a Swift car stopped by and started passing lewd remarks on us. We ignored them for a while but when they continued, Komal retaliated and two of them came out of the car and started slapping and beating her,” Khurana said. “One of the accused then held her hand and tried pulling her into the car when she bit his arm.”