The Indian Army jawan Manjrish Tripathy, who was arrested for raping a 14-year-old girl, was remanded in police custody for seven days after being produced before the Howrah Court on Tuesday.
Three army personnel had allegedly raped the girl inside a compartment of a moving Howrah-Amritsar Express on Sunday night. The girl was rescued by GRP personnel from Madhupur railway station on Monday.
On Tuesday the victim has been brought to Howrah and she underwent medical treatment in Howrah Hospital. A separate case has been initiated by Howrah GRP and the accused has been booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code on charges of raping a minor girl and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
The victim gave her statement before the Howrah Court under section 164 of the CrPC. Tripathy, who was posted in 72nd battalion in Eastern Command, was also produced before the court after a medical test and he has been remanded in the custody of the police for seven days.
He will be taken to the hospital tomorrow once again for another test.
Sources said that Tripathy was present in the compartment, but he had not raped the girl. But he had forced her to take alcohol.
As a result she fell unconscious and subsequently raped by two others, who were in the same compartment with Tripathy.
Though preliminary investigation suggests that Tripathy had not raped the girl, he will also be booked on similar charges like two others as it is considered that he has assisted them in committing the crime.
It is learnt that Tripathy was returning home after getting aleave. Unlike Tripathi, the other two jawans had boarded the train to reach to a place where they were supposed to join their respective battalions after a leave for a few days.
Police also came to know that the accused had threatened the victim of throwing her off from the train when she had refused to take the drinks they had offered. Thus she had to take the drink and felt sleepy soon after taking the drink, which was spiked with alcohol.
Police, however, are yet to trace out the duo. The victim had identified them after watching their photograph. But the police are yet to arrest them despite conducting raids at different places.
It has been maintained in a statement from the army’s Eastern Command headquarter for the media that: “there have been extensive media reports on the alleged rape by Army jawans of a minor girl on the Howrah-Amritsar Express on 27 December. The Army strongly condemns such incidents and it is firmly reiterated that such indiscipline behaviour by any soldier will not be tolerated. Strict disciplinary action will be taken against soldiers if involved in such acts. The Army is making concerted efforts to identify the jawans responsible if any and brings them to book as quickly as possible. It is also wholeheartedly assisting the police in the investigation.”