Govt officer, wife held; Maliwal claims not allowed to meet girl

Govt officer, wife held; Maliwal claims not allowed to meet girl

New Delhi: Police on Monday arrested a Delhi government officer, who allegedly raped a minor several times and impregnated her, and his wife after questioning them and recording the statement of the victim, officials said.

Shortly before he was arrested in the case which was registered on August 13, Premoday Khakha was suspended from his post as deputy director in Women and Child Development (WCD) Department following a direction from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Khakha and his wife Seema Rani are residents of Shakti Enclave in the Burari area, the police said, adding the girl was staying at the residence of the accused, a family friend whom she calls ‘mama’, after her father passed away on October 1, 2020, the police said.

The accused, an ex-cadre officer, had allegedly raped the girl several times between November 2020 and January 2021. His wife has also been charged with giving the girl medicine to terminate her pregnancy, they said.

“Both Khakha and his wife have been arrested in connection with the case. The case was registered on August 13,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) Sagar Singh Kalsi.

The couple was detained for questioning earlier in the day. They were arrested after the victim recorded her statement before a magistrate at a hospital. During the day, a police team visited the house of the accused.

While Seema Rani was produced in court after her arrest, Khakha will be produced on Tuesday, the police said.

The police said the case was registered under provisions of the POCSO Act and Indian Penal Code sections 376(2)(f) (being a relative, guardian or teacher of, or a person in a position of trust or authority towards the woman, commits rape on such woman) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman). IPC sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) have also been invoked.

Meanwhile, the BJP held a press conference condemning Deputy Director of Delhi government’s Women and Child Welfare Department, Premuday Khaka, after he was arrested for allegedly raping his friend’s minor daughter on Monday. BJP Secretary, Bansuri Swaraj, revealed a document of the appointment of Khaka as OSD to Minister of Transport, Kailash Gahlot where the signing authority expresses the Minister’s requests to appoint him as OSD. Women and Child Development minister Atishi denied these allegations claiming that Uday Khaka never worked with her as OSD and adding that he had been suspended by the CM as soon as the latter heard the news.

Earlier in the day, DCW chief Swati Maliwal sat on a dharna at a hospital on Monday, claiming that she was prevented from meeting the victim.

“The director of the hospital came to meet the DCW chief and informed her that the DCP (deputy commissioner of police) and ACP (assistant commissioner of police) of the Delhi Police are inside the hospital and had asked them to not allow her to meet the victim,” the women’s panel said in a statement.

The commission also sent a notice to the Delhi Police and the city government’s women and child development and services departments, seeking action in the matter. Maliwal said it was “shocking” that the Delhi police did not arrest the accused even eight days after the registration of the FIR.

“Even I was not allowed to meet the survivor at the behest of the Delhi Police. I will meet the survivor and provide all possible support,” she said.

Responding to National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma’s statement on X alleging that the DCW’s “own officer has been raping a girl since the last two years”, Maliwal said legal action will be taken in the matter for “false accusations and defaming the commission”.

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