Bikaner- In recent years, Rajasthan has been making headlines across the country for a surge in crimes against women, including rape, murder, and molestation. The involvement of policemen in crimes against women has now tainted the revered Khaki uniform. A recent case from Bikaner district has come to light, where a 22-year-old girl accused two police personnel at Nokha police station of molesting her and demanding sexual favours in return for taking action on her complaint. Such incidents not only tarnish the image of the police force but also shake the trust of the common people.
Taking the matter seriously, an FIR was registered against Head Constable Sagarmal and Constable Vikram Singh on January 28, a day after the incident. The accused police personnel were arrested after a preliminary investigation and presented in court, which ordered them to judicial custody. Superintendent of Police Tejaswani Gautam, upon receiving the investigation report, dismissed both accused police personnel from service, affirming the commitment to take strict action against those who betray the public trust.
The Mooknayak spoke with SP Tejaswani Gautam in detail. In response to the growing instances of police personnel being involved in crimes, Gautam acknowledged that the police force is not immune to societal influences. While efforts are made to train and educate police personnel, achieving 100 percent correctness in any department is challenging. She emphasized that individuals wearing the police uniform have a higher level of responsibility, and strict action, as taken in this case, is mandated by the law. SP Tejaswani Gautam urged against blaming the entire department for the actions of a few individuals.
The victim's father, speaking to The Mooknayak, shared that his daughter had gone to a village fair on January 27, where she was molested by a youth named Bajrang Lal Jat. When she went to the police station to file a complaint about the incident, the police personnel instead misbehaved with her. The father expressed concern over the incident, stating that now any daughter might be afraid to approach the police with a complaint. However, he expressed faith in the police chief's assurance of justice and called for exemplary punishment for the accused police personnel.
The victim's allegations include inappropriate behavior, snatching of her mobile phone, and the creation of an obscene video as a means of intimidation.
According to Rajeev, the acting station officer of Nokha, "On the evening of January 28, the victim, along with her father, went to the police station to report misconduct by a youth at the fair venue in the town on January 27. In the complaint, she alleged that, the police staff, Vikram and Sagar, misbehaved with her. Vikram snatched her mobile phone, saying, 'What is the need for family members? I am here.' Instead of writing a complaint about the incident that happened at the fair venue, Sagar started pulling the applicant towards himself, pushing her and taking her to the washroom. During this, Sagar touched her inappropriately. When she protested, Vikram pushed her and abused her."
The complainant stated in her complaint that she fell at the feet of the police personnel and pleaded. Sagar then said that she should come with him to the bathroom for ten minutes to make him happy, and he would give her the phone and let her talk to her family members. Otherwise, she would have to stay there the whole night. Vikram made an objectionable video of the complainant surrounded by men inside the police station and threatened her to make it public.
The acting station officer said that an FIR was registered regarding the incident that took place with the girl at the fair venue around 2:45 am.
The incident raised questions about the safety of women and the need for stringent measures to ensure the integrity of law enforcement agencies. The case echoes a broader societal issue, emphasizing the importance of a robust legal and ethical framework to hold accountable those responsible for upholding the law.
In June 2023, the incident in Khajuwala in Bikaner, where a 20-year-old Dalit student, visiting from her village for computer coaching, was gang-raped and murdered, exposed a troubling nexus between the police and criminals in Rajasthan. Constables Manoj and Bhagirath, along with a youth named Dinesh Vishnoi, were implicated in the heinous crime. The revelation led to public outrage and demands for justice, resulting in the suspension of one police officer, the dismissal and arrest of another, and an overall erosion of trust in law enforcement.
The incident underscored the urgent need for accountability and transparency within the police force to restore public faith and address concerns about the close relationships between some officers and criminals.