TIMES OF INDIA
THANE: In a startling twist to the Diva gangrape charge against four Railway Protection Force (RPF) constables, the police on Friday booked the complainant and her aide for allegedly demanding Rs 95,000 from the “accused” to withdraw the complaint. Police said they will reinvestigate the gangrape cha-rge, but added they are not concluding that the case is false.
The 25-year-old salesgirl had filed a complaint that she was allegedly raped by RPF constables P K Singh, B K Singh, Dipak Rathod and Baghel Singh in an RPF outpost at Diva station on January 14. On Thursday, the four were placed under suspension and an internal inquiry ordered.
“The woman’s aide, identified as Batla, called the RPF constables to a hotel in Diva and demanded money to settle the case. He told them that the woman would file an affidavit and withdraw the rape case. The accused recorded the conversation and submitted it to us,” said deputy commissioner of police Abhishek Trimukhe. Batla changed the location four times after finally meeting them at a hotel in Dombivli around 4pm.
“We caught the woman and Batla accepting Rs 95,000 from the four RPF constables. We will now reinvestigate into the rape charge as it is now appears that it could be an extortion case. However, we are not concluding that the rape case is false,” Trimukhe told TOI.
On Friday, the RPF suspended Diva senior inspector Rajkumar Dhanvij as the crime allegedly took place in his RPF outpost. The four constables are likely to be issued a chargesheet under the Discipline and Appeal Rules within the next two days considering the gravity of the case. They could lose their job, if proven guilty, said Sachin Bhalode, RPF senior divisional commandant, CR.
The complainant was taken to Thane Civil Hospital for a medical checkup on Thursday. “It has been almost nine mon-ths to the incident. We suspect the medical reports won’t be able to prove anything regarding the sexual assault. So far, none of the accused have be taken into custody as the matter is under investigation. Also, there was no CCTV camera in the outpost,” said an RPF officer.
A native of Uttar Pradesh, the woman was acquainted with P K Singh, who hailed from her hometown. Married in Uttar Pradesh, she came to Mumbai to live on her own following a marital dispute and the constables reportedly promised to find her a job. “The woman said she chose to suffer in silence as she feared them. But recently when one of the accused demanded sexual favours, she approached the police to end her ordeal,” said a Thane railway police official.