Arrest of a police officer in heinous POCSO crime must be probe with highest standard of professional investigation to unveil the bitter truth. The home department must proceed against the accused SI as per civil services rules so as to sent a loud signal that there is no room for rogue in JKP especially when LG Manoj Sinha administration is serious on dealing Human Trafficking with iron hand
JAMMU: Even when the investigation into bust of a well organized interstate narcotic cum human trafficking racket operate with immunity by History Sheeter Swarna Devi with for a decade from a residential premises in Bahu Fort area has so far failed to yield results as per gravity of the matter, the over enthusiasm of police to go for ossification test at break neck speed of alleged abducted minor girl who was recovered during a raid in Hotel Ramada have become talk of the town.
On Wednesday, the Bagh e Bahu police station team during a raid at Hotel Ramada arrested one Sub Inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police namely Sardar Ali along with a property dealer identified as Muzaffar alias Kaka of Bajalta. Both the arrested persons were present inside the room with alleged abducted girl when the police party raided a room in hotel. The police launched search exercise after a family residing in Raika area lodged a FIR with Bagh-e -Bahu Police complaining that their minor girl had gone missing on May 12, 2023.
Jumping to ossification test so early raises eyebrows and also undermines the mandate of Juvenile Justice Act 2015, aver one police officer confiding anonymity. “As a matter of fact, the police department used to earn public wrath due to association of several men in khakhi with land mafia. “Men in uniform are guardian of law and savior of human beings. In the instant case, arrest of one SI with his property dealer friend from a hotel room along with “abducted” minor girl has shaken the confidence of public and diminished reputation of police” aver a police officer.
If the age of the minor is nearly 16 to 17 years there are chances that during ossification test it may bracket into the higher side of age thus giving benefit to the accused in POCSO cases, said a senior medico posted in Government Medical College, Jammu.
Currently, the rescued minor girl is kept at Child Welfare Committee, Jammu for counseling, care and rehabilitation. Whereas, Reliable sources in Government Medical College, Jammu confiding anonymity told JK Global News that tests of minor girl has confirmed that she was repeatedly raped.
The police must investigate as to how the management of the hotel in question has allowed a minor girl into the hotel room. Moreover, how it fails to escape the eyes of law enforcement agencies who regularly scan the hotel booking register. Not only this, at the time of booking if the concern at hotel booking desk accept the identification proof of minor girl along with arrested persons why the hotel has not flagged the suspicious guests to the cop who regularly checked the hotel register. The whole matter needs in-depth investigation to expose larger angel, asserted a police officer.
Instead of messing the matter, the police need to act as per the procedure laid down in Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The section 94 of JJA clearly states that “Where, it is obvious to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), based on the appearance of the person brought before it under any of the provisions of this Act (other than for the purpose of giving evidence) that the said person is a child, the Committee or the Board shall record such observation stating the age of the child as nearly as may be and proceed with the inquiry under section 14 or section 36, as the case may be, without waiting for further confirmation of the age.
Further, in case, the CWC has reasonable grounds for doubt regarding whether the person brought before it is a child or not, the Committee or the Board, as the case may be, shall undertake the process of age determination firstly by seeking evidence by obtaining — the date of birth certificate from the school, or the matriculation or equivalent certificate from the concerned examination Board, if available. Secondly, in the absence thereof, the CWC or board can seek the birth certificate issued by a corporation or a municipal authority or a panchayat and only in the absence of (i) and (ii) above, age shall be determined by an ossification test or any other latest medical age determination test conducted on the orders of the Committee or the Board.
Whether the minor girl abducted or run away at her own will, however, the arrest of a police officer with the girl from a hotel room broadly shows that he failed to act as guardian of law and willfully undermines the sanctity and honor of uniform. If facilitators of such serious crime allowed going scot free, this indeed will strengthen evil designs of human traffickers and dooms the civilized society, said noted social activist Prof SK Bhalla, adding “The society expects that incumbent SHO, Bagh e Bahu police station should act as per law without any pulls and pressure to conclude investigations into all POCSO as well as Human Trafficking FIRs gathering dust at said police station so as to brought justice to perpetrators of heinous crimes in society”.