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Ruchika, Rathore and the failed construct of India
A CBI court has convicted former DGP of Haryana SPS Rathore for molesting a 14-year-old tennis player in 1990. Not for eventually driving the girl to suicide. He got off with a six-month jail thanks to his clout with Congress, BJP and other parties.
INSPECTOR GENERAL of police SPS Rathore has been the top law enforcer of the state of Haryana. Like ‘supercop’ KPS Gill in Punjab, he was director general of police and was the darling of four chief ministers. The former top cop has been convicted and sentenced to jail.

The conviction is not for any ‘acceptable’ offence committed by politicos, bureaucrats, judges and police officers, which people of the ‘free’ republic take as routine behaviour. It is not for amassing wealth through corrupt ways; it is also not bumping off in a fake encounter some small time don who had fell out with the political bosses and become uncomfortable.

A CBI court in Chandigarh has convicted Rathore for molesting a teenage girl Ruchika Girhotra. That was when he was the president of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association in Panchkula way back in August 1990. Ruchika was a budding tennis player. The 14-year-girl was so traumatised by the experience and intimidation from authorities to silence her that she committed suicide in 1993. When the family alleged that harassment from the police drove her to suicide, they were forced to shift out of Panchkula. Two high ranking officials of the state spoke out against the tactics of the cops after the public outcry.

RR Singh, the investigation officer who probed the charges brought by Ruchika, accused Rathore of driving the girl to suicide. “In this case, I am of the considered view that whatever Ruchika, a small girl of 15 years had stated about the molestation by SPS Rathore is based on true facts. I am of the opinion that a cognisable offense is made, therefore, recommend that a case under appropriate sections of Indian Penal Code be got registered.”

Singh faced severe pressure to prolong the probe, as it usually happens in India when big names are involved. He finally submitted a report to the Home Secretary JK Duggal after much delay. Both the officers confirmed that Ruchika's statements against the former DGP were all based on facts. Yet, no case was registered to implicate Rathore in abetting suicide, thanks to his clout with leaders of the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and the local parties. The sentence he has now got is, therefore, a flea bite for the fiend. Rathore has to pay a paltry fine of Rs 1000 and has been sentenced to just six months in jail.

JK Duggal, former Home Secretary, has confirmed Rathore's culpability in the suicide of Ruchika Girhotra. He said: "It was a political interference (that delayed the matter) because at the bureaucratic level, we had recommended severe punishment. Both RR Singh and I had recommended it. Then the file was held up with the minister.” Duggal added: “The quantum of punishment is not justifiable. It should have been much more. The entire family has been harassed. He deserves severe punishment.”

India’s justice dispensation system is refractory to any such concern even from highly placed persons. Within moments of the sentencing, an ‘honourable’ judge granted bail to the sex maniac.

SPS Rathore’s mentor KPS Gill, it may be recalled, was convicted and sentenced for tormenting an IAS officer Rupen Deol. She suffered hell as she refused to take a ‘friendly’ pat on her bum from the drunken boss lightly. Gill, reputed for creating mass graves for dissenters to keep politicians in power, used his terrific influence with bosses to evade punishment for several years. He also had the blind admiration of gullible Indian public working for him.

It may be recalled that KPS Gill paid a couple of lakh rupees in damages only when he could no more prolong the case after the conviction at the highest court. Treading the same footsteps of the evil hero, SPS Rathore too has plans to appeal against the verdict. He is very likely to die of old age like a king after amassing enough wealth for his kin and cronies.

Interestingly, Gill is still held in awe by perverted patriots of India for his ‘services’ to the country. The Ruchika-Rathore episode has again revealed the failure of the construction of India. The entire system of governance put in place by leaders of the so-called freedom struggle favours only Gills and Rathores. Tragically, power has been inherited from colonial masters by corrupt and autocratic elements in the name of democracy which is reflected in the rotten judicial system.

It is time now for hyper-patriotic Indians to ponder over a question. Who should by hanged (or stoned to death) first; the ‘honourable’ cop and politicos who shielded him for inhuman feats a decade back or, Ajmal Kasab for his alleged role in a ruthless mission in 2008? It can’t be denied that the Mumbai carnage was intended to achieve the goal of ending military oppression in occupied Kashmir even if the means could be controversial.

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