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Molester cop Rathore stripped off medal
Published on 5 Jan. 2010 12:35 AM IST
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The union home ministry Monday decided to strip former Haryana director general of police (DGP) S.P.S. Rathore, convicted for molesting 15-year-old Ruchika Girhotra in 1990, of the police medal he was given for meritorious service in 1985. The award committee, headed by Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, took the decision to withdraw the medal after a meeting Monday, an official said. The recommendation will now be sent to President Pratibha Patil. The former police chief, who was given a show-cause notice last week by the home ministry, was awarded the medal Aug 15, 1985. Shortly before the home ministry meeting, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda wrote to Home Minister P. Chidambaram stating that Rathore had brought “disrepute and bad name” to the state and the police forces. Hooda’s letter also mentioned “moral turpitude” on the part of Rathore in the case. Pillai is already on record stating that as far as other issues like Rathore’s reduction of pension were concerned, a show-cause notice has been initiated. The central police awards committee gives the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry, the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and the Police Medal for Meritorious Service on recommendation from state governments. The committee’s recommendations need to have the approval of the president. Similarly, to take away a medal, the case has to be first cleared by the committee and then the president. Sources said the committee was also likely to take a decision on automatic withdrawal of all police medals given to officers who are convicted. Ruchika committed suicide in 1993 after her family was allegedly harassed for three years by Rathore. Rathore on Dec 21, 2009, was sentenced to six months in jail and Rs.1,000 fine for Ruchika’s molestation 19 years ago, evoking widespread protests over what people called a light punishment. He has now been booked by Panchkula police in two fresh cases, including the non-bailable charge of attempt to murder, after Ruchika’s family filed fresh complaints. Meanwhile, the former school principal of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School where Ruchika was a student when she was molested could be pulled up by the Chandigarh administration for her unwarranted expulsion. The administration’s findings on Ruchika’s expulsion from the Sacred Heart Convent indicate that the teenager was forced to leave school on flimsy grounds and subsequently harassed to death.

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