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Noose tightens around Rathore
Published on 30 Dec. 2009 12:01 AM IST
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Two fresh First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against disgraced former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore on Tuesday, including for attempt to murder and wrongful confinement, in the 19-year-old Ruchika Girhotra molestation case. Rathore has been charged with serious crimes like attempt to murder (Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code), criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and conspiracy. The Haryana police also filed the FIRs against three other junior police officers. The development came on a day when the Centre decided to press a case of abetment of suicide of a minor against the former DGP. The Law Ministry will ask the CBI to appeal the case in a higher court and charge Rtahore with abetting the suicide of 17 year old Ruchika in 1993. Law Minister Veerappa Moily told TV channels that he was in touch with the CBI and National Commission for Women in the matter. A person convicted for abetment of suicide can face death or life imprisonment. In this regard, the Home Ministry has consulted with the lawyer of Ruchika’a family. The Law Minister’s remarks came after a CBI spokesperson said earlier in the day that the agency would consult the Law and Home Ministries on appealing against the trial court judgement in the case, including adding charges of abetment to suicide. He said the agency’s legal experts were mulling how to go about the case in a fool-proof manner. The CBI will, he added, take into account the various queries raised by the media in this case. NCW chairperson Girija Vyas also appealed to the Central and Haryana governments to slap serious charges against Rathore. “We have asked the Union Home Ministry and the Haryana government to slap serious charges - abetment to suicide, attempt to murder, conspiracy and destroying evidence - against Rathore,” Vyas told reporters here. A special CBI court in Chandigarh had on December 21 held Rathore guilty of molesting 14-year-old Ruchika in Panchkula town on August 12, 1990 and sentenced him to a six-month prison term. Rathore was immediately granted bail. The budding tennis player had committed suicide three years after the incident. Ruchika’s 16th death anniversary Tuesday saw prayers and support coming for her and petitions moved at different forums to get the case against Rathore re-opened. Her closest friend, Aradhana and her family led a peace march to the house in Panchkula where the teenager had committed suicide 16 years ago, unable to cope with the constant harassment and torture inflicted on her and her family by Rathore. Aradhana, the lone eyewitness to Ruchika’s molestation, was carrying a big photograph of Ruchika and a greeting card dedicated to her. The marchers lit an earthen lamp outside house number 363, Sector 6 here, where Ruchika consumed poison Dec 28, 1993, three years after her molestation. Aradhana said the online signature campaign she launched Monday for reopening of the case was getting very good response and “we have also got hundreds of e-mails in support of this cause. We will not step back from here and would certainly convince the court for reopening of the case and to add the charge of abetment to suicide against Rathore.”

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