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'It's shameful that Rathod is still a free man'

Source: PTI
December 26, 2009 16:31 IST
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Aradhana, an eye-witness in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, on Saturday said merely stripping former Haryana Director General of Police S P S Rathore's of his police medal was not enough.

"Taking away the medal of Rathore won't be enough. Rather, we need a change in our system where a young girl is not subjected to such trauma. For that, we need such cases to be dealt by fast-track courts so that the victim gets justice within days, and not months and years," said Aradhana.

Aradhana, who was honoured by a Chandigarh-based human rights organisation for waging a fight to get justice for her late friend Ruchika, said though no amount of monetary compensation would be enough for the victim's family, but the former DGP's property and other assets should be auctioned and its proceeds given to the Girhotra family.

She said that it was shameful that despite the heinous crime, Rathore, who was recently sentenced to six-months in jail in the Ruchika molestation case, was still a 'free man'.

The former DGP was immediately released on bail after pronouncement of the judgment by the Central Bureau of Investigation court.

"He is still a free man. If we had a system where the accused would have been punished immediately, Ruchika's suicide could have been prevented. But Rathore being an influential person, such circumstances were created that she and her family went through a harrowing time," she said.

Aradhana also held the private convent school in Chandigarh, where Ruchika studied, 'equally responsible' for driving her to suicide.

"The school is also equally responsible for her death. After she was expelled for no fault of hers, she could not take the trauma. She had studied in the school from her childhood and their step (of expelling her) had left her in a state of shock," she claimed.

Recalling the trauma which she herself had gone through after being witness to the molestation incident and later seeing the suffering of Ruchika, she said, "I lost my childhood. I started thinking about male psychology and how it could subject a teenaged girl to such trauma".

Aradhana's Australia-based husband Aman, who was also present with her today along with the couple's minor daughter, said his wife had full support from his family in the case.

"When I married Aradhana, I had no inkling about the case, but later on I realised that she was fighting for the truth, to get justice for her childhood friend and her family. Now, we are all with her in this fight, which we will take to its logical end," Aman said.

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