The government of a northern Indian state stirs into action after a rape victim commits suicide right on police station premises protesting lack of action against the guilty cops.
Constables Balrarj Singh and Silak Ram, who had been absconding since Monday surrendered before Rohtak police in Haryana, after which they were arrested, an official said. They were produced before the court the next day and sent to three-day police custody.
The duo were brought to Rohtak police station by their own shocked relatives, some of whom are also policemen.
The victim and her husband had to run from pillar to post, meeting various officials, before the local police chose to register their complaint - that was 50 days after the incident.
Meantime the cops had been trying to intimidate the victim into silence. One reason why the poor woman chose to end her life so precipitously on Monday. Sarita, in her early 20s, gave up her fight for justice in front of hundreds of agitated people, her two children and a grieving husband who was allegedly framed in a theft case in Rohtak three months ago.
She was raped on the premises of the Crime Investigating Agency (CIA) building where her husband was lodged in April, on a charge of stealing a motorcycle.
She chose the police headquarters in Sector 6 to end her life before her daughters Heena (6) and Muskan (3), who were the only eyewitnesses to the incident.
"Maine goli kha li hai (I have swallowed a tablet),'' said Sarita to V B Singh, a top police official as she handed him a two-page letter on her tragic story. "Despite DSP Neeraj Setia's probe had confirmed rape, neither were the policemen arrested nor did the investigating officers bother to get me medically-examined. And the accused issued threats after they failed to lure me with money,'' she wrote. "I have tried my best to get justice but my voice has gone unheard and now I am committing suicide, and head constable Balraj and constable Silak Ram are responsible for my death,'' the letter said.
The incident caused a huge embarrassment to the state government which, finally, started cracking down.
Three senior Rohtak district police officials. Inspector General of Police Anil Darbar, Superintendent of Police Hanif Qurreshi and Deputy Superintendent of Police Dheeraj Setia were transferred out, Haryana DGP Ranjiv Dalal told reporters.
The family of Saritha kept the administration on tenterhooks for hours before agreeing to her cremation Wednesday evening.
Her husband Subhash and father Jagbir had insisted the body would be cremated only after the policemen accused of raping her — Balraj and Seelak Ram — were arrested.
Around noon, officiating Rohtak Deputy Commissioner PC Meena arrived to meet the family with a relief cheque for Rs 5 lakh. Subhash first refused to accept it.
Only when the officials promised him a job and an immediate cash relief of Rs.21,000, did he give in and took the cheque. Finally the body was cremated, reports say.