UP Cops Rule out Harassment, Say Narrative Being Twisted
The narrative in Sudiksha Bhati’s death case is being “twisted by some people”, the Bulandshahr Police said on Thursday as it ruled out “harassment” in the episode after initial probe but assured thorough investigation.
Senior Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar Singh said the FIR, which does not have harassment or eve-teasing charges, has been filed under relevant sections of the law based on a complaint by Sudiksha’s father and statements of her cousin brother and an eye-witness.
Sudiksha, who hailed from Deri Scanar village in Gautam Buddh Nagar’s Dadri, died on Monday in a road crash in adjoining Bulandshahr district while she was pillion riding a motorcycle with her cousin brother, a minor.
The 20-year-old woman, an academically bright student, was pursuing a graduation course in entrepreneurship at Babson College, Massachusetts (the US) on a Rs 3.80 crore scholarship and was scheduled to go back on August 20. Her family has alleged that the road crash took place because two unidentified motorcycle-borne men were “following” her two-wheeler and harassing her.
“It appears that after the body reached her village, some people tried to twist the narrative of the incident. Since the girl had got a huge scholarship package (for studying in the US), there could have been a thought of demand (for compensation) in the people,” Singh said.
The district police chief said the boy (Sudiksha’s cousin) who was riding the motorcycle is a high school student and possibly a minor, and there emerged a narrative that the woman’s paternal uncle, Satendra Bhati, was riding the motorcycle.
But during the probe, his mobile phone location was analysed which showed that at 9.17 am he was in Dadri, while the incident took place at 8.50 am in Bulandshahr’s Aurangabad area. “He reached the spot at 10.49 am, after almost two hours of the accident. We have a complete route chart of his travel,” the SSP said.
“There was an attempt to present this incident with a new narrative. And if a lie gets repeated by 50 people again and again, then even that lie begins to appear like truth,” the officer told reporters.
Singh said the police were also “shown as a party in the incident” and it was being projected that the death took place because of police’s “irresponsibility and tampering”.
“In the investigation so far and on the basis of the eye-witness’s statement, there has been no confirmation that it was a case of harassment,” he said.
Singh said Hemant Sharma, who lives in Mustafabad, is an eyewitness of the incident who told the police that because of a milk tanker coming from the opposite direction, a Bullet rider applied brakes after which the motorcycle on which Sudiksha was riding rammed into the Bullet from behind.
“This led to the accident and head injury to Sudiksha because of which she died. Her cousin brother suffered minor injuries in the accident,” the SSP said. The FIR, he said, was lodged on the basis of a third complaint which was given by the woman’s father Jitendra Bhati.
The first complaint was made by the cousin after the incident at the hospital but he took it back immediately, saying the family would give a complaint, while the complaint by the maternal uncle, who lives in Bulandshahr, was not lodged by the police in order to not let the family doubt that his version was taken under any police pressure, the officer said.
The senior police officer claimed that even in those two complaints there was no mention of harassment.
The FIR has been lodged under “relevant” sections of the Indian Penal Code — 279 (rash driving on a public way), 304A (causing death due to negligence), 184 (dangerous driving), 192 of the Motor Vehicles Act, among others.
He said five police teams are working on the case currently so that the actual culprits involved in the accident could be nabbed and the public be presented with the facts.
On the FIR mentioning that the Bullet twice or thrice came ahead and went behind Sudiksha’s motorcycle, the district police chief said, “The FIR mentions only the movement of the two-wheeler and not harassment.”
“If any such point (harassment) emerged in the probe, then strict action would be taken and whichever law is applicable that would be incorporated in the case. But so far, there is no evidence which suggests harassment. Neither does the eye-witness or the deceased’s brother have mentioned anything about it,” Singh said.
He said the police file cases of grave crimes under the severest sections of the IPC and here it was a meritorious girl whose death has pained everyone then why would the police want to hide anything.
“The police do not have any motive or intention to do it. We are with the family of Sudiksha and probing the case. If even an iota of truth is found regarding the allegations, legal action would be ensured,” he said.
“The charge of harassment is not a big matter for us, we deal with such cases regularly. It is our appeal to everyone, please do not twist the case. The police are doing their job with utmost sincerity, truthfulness and in an unbiased manner,” he added. Singh said the accused are unidentified and there was no way the police would want to hide the facts to save someone who is unidentified.
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