occasions last week. They had tears in their eyes and appeared too intimidated to speak and managed a few fumbling sentences when prompted by policewomen.
Questions have been raised about the police version of events as the police did not make public that Tati Sarita was among those arrested on November 3 in connection with the rape of the two girls. Witnesses said the police molested Sarita and she was in a “dishevelled condition”. But Agrawal and the DSP (special operations) denied she was among those arrested.
The case diary at Modakpal police station, however, records Sarita’s arrest with four men — Irma Suklu, Michha Banga, Michha Suklu and Punem Ramesh — on November 3. Confronted with the diary, Agrawal said: “We might have forgotten it.” On the other hand, the case diary says Gujja was arrested on November 8.
The police version is further contradicted by the CRPF. While the police have said the two girls were found on November 1 and Gujja, Sarita and four others held on November 3, CRPF men, who led the joint operation with the police, said they were all picked up together in a raid on a Maoist meeting.
The CRPF account matches that of the villagers.