The proceedings in the sensational case involving the abduction of teenager Shruti Sachdeva ended on Monday, with the trial court jailing prime accused Nishan Singh to life.
Besides, nine others, including Nishan’s mother Navjot Kaur and former councillor Manjinder Singh, were sentenced to seven years by the Faridkot District and Sessions Court.
However, presiding judge Archana Puri acquitted 10 others accused in the case, which had triggered an open spat between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress.
Earlier, following the 15-year-old girl’s alleged abduction from her Faridkot residence on September 24, the Punjab Police had at first claimed that the girl had been living with Nishan in Goa after elopement.
However, the police version came in for much criticism resulting in a major manhunt being launched to track down the girl. Finally, a police team found Shruti from a Goa beach in October.But the girl initially claimed that she was in love with Nishan and they had got married. After she refused to meet her mother and resisted the authorities’ efforts to turn her over to her parents, Shruti was sent to the ‘Nari Niketan’ in Jalandhar.
In a dramatic development, the girl later agreed to meet her mother and went with her. Also, she made a U-turn and contradicted her earlier statement that she had indeed eloped with her fiance. Meanwhile, Shruti’s statement in the chargesheet submitted by the police in court alleged that she was abducted and kept under detention here as well as in Delhi and Goa by Nishan, who is an accused in 18 criminal cases.
Further, the minor girl claimed that she was molested and forced to remain silent as the accused threatened to harm her parents.
The victim also said that she was made to write letters under duress to show that she had been living with the accused of her own free will.Nishan had forced her to pose for a picture with him, in order, to spoil her life, she alleged.
According to her, she tried to escape twice but was caught and beaten up.
The girl was pregnant when she was found in Goa. However, she was initially reluctant to undergo a medical examination. Later, she got her pregnancy terminated.
Last year, the state police had given promotions to 23 personnel, who had played a crucial role in cracking the case.
The residents of Faridkot had observed a 48-hour shut down on October 1 and 2 to protest against the kidnapping. Also, the state Congress held statewide sit-ins to protest against the failure of the police to track down Shruti.