No, this is not a script of an exaggerated Bollywood film but a horrific ordeal that an innocent girl, her family and friends had to go through. News websites mostly focus on covering trending issues; it’s ingrained in us, news writers. However, at The Fearless Indian we are striving to break this trend by covering issues that are pertinent and seldom get media attention. We believe it’s are moral duty to bring such stories to light, especially when the victims haven’t been served justice.
On 26th January 2018, former Haryana director general of police (IGP) SPS Rathore was seen present on the stage with other officials at the district-level Republic Day function at the Sector-5 Parade Ground in Panchkula.
But, did you know that Rathore was convicted by the Supreme Court of India for molesting a 12-year-old girl Ruchika Girhotra in 1990?
The Sordid Saga begins:
This horrific tale of a young girl name Ruchika Girhotra whose life was ended short due to a power drunk monster will give you goose bumps.
Ruchika Girhotra was a student of Class X at sacred heart school for girls in Chandigarh. Her father, S.C Girhotra, was a manager with UCO Bank. Her mother died when she was ten years old. She had one brother, Ashu.
Ruchika, along with her friend Aradhna Prakash, were enrolled as trainees at the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA).
Ruchika was a promising tennis player. On 11 August 1990, Rathore visited Ruchika’s house and met her father S. C. Girhotra. As head of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, Rathore promised to get special training for Ruchika. On 12 August, Ruchika, along with her friend Aradhana, went to play at the lawn tennis court and met Rathore in his office. On seeing both of them, Rathore asked Aradhana to call the tennis coach to his room. Aradhana left, and Rathore was alone with Ruchika. He immediately grabbed her hand and waist and pressed his body against hers. Ruchika tried to push him away, but he continued molesting her. But, in sometime Aradhana returned and witnessed what was going on. Ruchika used this opportunity and escaped, later she told everything to Aradhana.
The Power Abuse by Rathore:
After Ruchika’s family went to the police, she was expelled from school, in which Rathore’s daughter was her classmate, for “non-payment of fee”. The expulsion was later used in court to insinuate that she had a “bad character”.
Her younger brother Ashu who was just 13-years-old back then was booked in false cases and arrested. His statement to the court read: “Rathore used to get me tortured in his presence at the CIA post in Mansa Devi, Panchkula, after I was picked up by the police on October 10, 1993, on the pretext of being involved in car thefts. Rathore made me lie on the ground and a roller was rolled on my legs and thighs after four constables boarded the roller.
On 28 December 1993, few days after Ashu was paraded in handcuffs in his locality and the policeman threatened them that their father and then Ruchika will suffer the same fate if they don’t take the case back.
Evil Triumphs Over Good:
Ruchika succumbed to the constant harassing of the modern day Ravan and his accomplices and committed suicide by consuming poison when she was just 14-years-old.
Dastardly Rathore threw a party that night to celebrate her death and his victory. This animal didn’t stop here; he refused to release Ruchika’s body to her father Subash unless he signed blank sheets of paper. The blank papers were later used by the police to establish that the family had accepted Ruchika’s forged autopsy report. Rathore also threatened to kill Ashu, who was still in illegal police custody. At this time, Ashu was allegedly unconscious in CIA lock-up. He had been stripped naked and beaten the previous night by drunken policemen. He was brought back to his house, still unconscious, after Ruchika’s last rites were over.
In court, Rathore’s wife, who was fighting his case, said that Ruchika’s father Subhash would “spend his time with another woman, and the neglected children had fallen on evil ways”.
Aradhana, who is the sole witness in the molestation case, had ten civil cases filed against her by Rathore. She received abusive and threatening calls for months until she got married and left for Australia. Pankaj Bhardwaj, the lawyer who took up Ruchika’s case, was slapped with two court cases by Rathore -a defamation case and a case for compensation.
Aradhana’s father Anand Parkash, who was fighting for Ruchika’s justice was suspended from his job and later demoted to Superintendent Engineer. He was eventually given a premature retirement.
On 22 December 2009, after 19 years, 40 adjournments, and more than 400 hearings, the court finally pronounced Rathore guilty under Section 354 IPC (molestation) and sentenced him to six months imprisonment, only. The CBI had opposed Rathore’s plea and had sought an enhancement of his sentence from six months to the maximum of two years after his conviction.
The molestation of a schoolgirl, abhorrent in itself, was just the beginning of a terrible saga, at the end of which Rathore was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but did not have to serve any more time in jail because of the six months he had been behind bars during the trial and on account of his “advanced age”.
The abetment to suicide case against Rathore was never proven. We believe that justice has not been served to Ruchika and Rathore should pay for his sins. Let us know what do you think?
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