Wife blamed minor for rape, did not stop assault, says FIR
The girl reported the abuse to the officer's wife, who blamed her instead. The couple's children were also aware of the abuse.
The minor girl, who was allegedly raped repeatedly by a Delhi government officer between November 2020 and January 2021, has told the police that after she was raped for the first time, she complained to the officer’s wife. The woman’s response was to blame the victim who was told that she must have done something that compelled him to do so, said the investigators.
Initial information from the investigators paints a horrifying picture of abuse and complicity involving not just the officer, Premoday Khakha and his wife, Seema Rani, both of whom have now been arrested, but even the couple’s children.
The victim, who is presently doing her 10th from National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), went to live at the house of Premoday Khakha in Burari, after her father’s death on October 1, 2020, the police said. She was 14 at the time. The Khakhas were members of the same cult of sorts that her family was part of — a small place of worship (Amazing Grace church) not affiliated to any official diocese — and were close to her family. The role played by the place of worship in the incident is not clear. Nor is it clear why the mother of the victim, an educated woman of means, sent her adolescent daughter to live with the Khakha family after her husband’s death.
“The victim told the police that she came to Khakha’s house in Burari from her parents’ residence in Usmanpur to overcome depression due to her father’s death. Since the school was closed due to Covid-19, she was taking her online classes from there. When Khakha sexually abused her for the first time, the victim informed his wife about it. But instead of putting a check on her husband, the woman blamed the victim saying — “Tumne hi kuchh kiya hoga, tumne hi koyee ishare kiye honge”. (You must havedone something; you must have given him some sign). The victim also told us that Khakha’s wife used to beat her,” one of the investigators said, asking not to be named.
A senior officer of Delhi Police said that the victim told the police that she got pregnant after Khakha, an assistant director in women and child development department (WCD) of Delhi government, raped her in January 2021. “When she informed Khakha’s wife Seema Rani about her pregnancy, Rani asked her son to get a pregnancy test kit from a pharmacy. When the result came as positive, she gave the victim abortion pills. The victim had also informed Khakha’s children about her rape by their father. But they refused to believe it,” he said, asking not to be named.
On Tuesday, Khakha was taken for medical examination which also included a potency test, the officer said, after the lawyer of the accused claimed that he had undergone a vasectomy procedure 20 years ago.
“We have taken this into consideration and is now a matter of probe. The report of Khakha’s potency test is awaited. All facts related to the case will be probed,” the officer said.
The officer also said that since both the children of the accused — his son is now 21; he also has a daughter, now 22 — were aware of the matter, they will also be questioned soon . “Neither of them was a minor when the incident happened. There is no legal hassle in interrogating them,” he added.
Sagar Singh Kalsi, the deputy commissioner of police (north), said that the victim’s statement has already been recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC before a judicial magistrate on Monday. “She is still under treatment in the hospital. The investigating officer of the case has met the victim in presence of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) counsellor, a doctor and mother of victim,” he said. An FIR under sections 376(2)(6), 506, 509, 323, 313, 120B and 34 of the IPC and section 6/21 of the Pocso Act was lodged at Burari police station on August 13.
Citing her statement to the magistrate, a second Delhi police officer said that Khakha first raped the minor on October 31, 2020, nearly a fortnight after she shifted to his Burari house after her father’s death on October 1 that year.
In her statement, she alleged that Khakha drugged her before the assault that night, and his wife and two children were present at the house at the time of the incident. “The girl alleged in her statement that Khakha gave her spiked water and that she became unconscious after drinking it. She found injuries on her genitals when she regained consciousness. She told Khakha’s wife, Seema Rani, about the sexual assault soon after the incident. However, Rani rebuked her and blamed her for it by saying that she only may have made any gestures before him,” this officer said asking not to be named.
Another senior officer said that when the victim’s mother came to Khakha’s house on January 16, 2021, the victim’s birthday, the girl asked her mother to take her back home. “However, she never told her mother about her sexual abuse. In February 2021, victim’s mother finally took her away from Khakha’s house. But he used to sexually abuse her whenever he met her in the church. The victim finally stopped going to church after July this year. She suffered an anxiety attack on August 7 and was admitted to a hospital, where she narrated her woes to a doctor,” he said, asking not to be named.
Both the accused, Premoday Khakha and his wife Seema Rani, were arrested on Monday. Rani was sent to judicial custody on Monday, while Khakha was sent to judicial custody on Tuesday.
With inputs from Karn Pratap Singh