Ruchika case: Car thief Gajender in judicial custody

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

PANCHKULA - A Panchkula court Tuesday sent Gajender Singh, a car thief and proclaimed offender who was the first arrest in the case of molestation victim Ruchika Girhotra, to 14 days in judicial custody.

Gajender Singh, who was nabbed from Pune last week, was brought here Monday evening and was presented at the court of civil judge Raj Gupta Tuesday.

He said he was innocent and not related to Ruchika’s molestation case — the 15-year-old was molested by former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore in 1990 and committed suicide three years later following alleged harassment of her and her family.

I know Ashu (Ruchika’s brother) very well but I am not at all related to Ruchika’s molestation case. I did not help anybody in this case. I am totally innocent and I will prove this in the court, Gajender Singh told reporters.

“Gajender Singh has been brought here in connection with the previous cases of car thefts and we have no business with the Ruchika Girhotra case. We have full trust in judiciary and police do not possess any proof against my client,” said his lawyer Dinesh Jagda.

Gajender Singh was arrested in 1993 and told police that Ashu was also a part of his gang. Following the allegation, Ashu was arrested and six cases of car thefts registered against him.

Police officials had said Monday that Gajender Singh had disclosed that he had been studying at Chandigarh’s Panjab University when he met Ashu. According to him, in a bid to make easy money, Ashu and his friend Sanjeev Verma stole cars from Panchkula and Pinjore towns and then delivered the stolen vehicles to him.

These were sold in Bihar after the registration numbers were changed, a police source added.

Ashu had accused Haryana police of registering false cases against him at Rathore’s behest. Based on Ashu and his father’s complaints, Rathore was booked under new cases Dec 29.

Rathore was booked on charges like attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, forging evidence, wrongful confinement, fabricating false evidence and criminal conspiracy.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Chandigarh had Dec 21 held Rathore guilty of molesting Ruchika in Panchkula town Aug 12, 1990 and sentenced him to a six-month prison term. Rathore was immediately granted bail.

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