Delhi gangrape: Top cop denies interference
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar on Tuesday refuted allegations of police intervention during the recording of Delhi gangrape victim's statement by a sub divisional magistrate (SDM) that has sparked a fresh row.
The controversy has already pitted the Delhi Police against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit over the handling of the case of the incident.
Reports said the victim's statement of the events of that fateful night on Dec 16, when she was raped and brutalized by six men on a moving bus, was re-recorded on Tuesday before a Metropolitan Magistrate after the lady magistrate who recorded it earlier alleged police intervention during the recording on Monday night.
Denying the allegations, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said, "The SDM was called by the police and our officer took her there. When she went there for recording, no questionnaire was forced on her."
"It was the doctor who was against videography since there was chance of infection if more people would go inside the room where the girl was kept," he said, responding to allegations that senior police officials had stopped the video recording of the victim's statement.
"She (SDM) recorded the statement of the victim and the mother of the victim and went away," Kumar said.
"She was never forced by us to do anything. Later we came to know about the allegation from the paper. If she was indeed forced or obstructed, she would have gone without recording the statement," he added.
The fresh recording of statement on Tuesday came after Sheila Dikshit wrote to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde about a complaint filed by Usha Chaturvedi, the SDM of Vasant Vihar, about excessive police intervention during the recording of her statement inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Safdarjung Hospital.
Chaturvedi reportedly alleged that three cops tried to stop on camera recording of the statement and intimidated her. Sheila Dikshit called the alleged police intervention as alarming and serious in her letter to the Home Minister.
Police, however, said it was not them but the victim's mother who was against video recording of the statement of her daughter.
The SDM, however, did not allege that the statement of the girl was coloured by the police interference.
Meanwhile, reactions started pouring in over the new controversy.
India Against Corruption (IAC) led by Anna Hazare called the news as "another shocking revelation".
A probe has been ordered into the allegation of the SDM by former Delhi High Court judge, Usha Mehra.
Protests had flared across India last week after the 23-year-old medical student was brutally assaulted and raped by six men on a moving bus in New Delhi and then thrown off along with her male friend on the night of Nov 16.
The victim, currently being treated at the Safdarjung Hospital, is battling for her life while a police constable who was injured in the scuffle when a protest at India Gate in New Delhi turned violent, died on Tuesday.