BANGALORE: Lal Giri, the 21-year-old gym instructor arrested on Monday for the Vibgyor school gang-rape, is a black belt in kung fu and was studying to become a police officer.
His parents say the police beat him with a cricket bat and administered shocks to extract a confession. “They are doing this because he is poor and cannot defend himself,” Indra Giri, his father, told Express.
A national gymnastics champion, Lal Giri has no previous history of crime. His father is a security guard who migrated from Nepal to Bangalore three decades ago.
“If my son had committed rape, I would have killed him even before the police came for him,” said Indra Giri, when Express traced him to a poor neighbourhood near Vajpayee Nagar in Bommanahalli.
The news of Lal Giri being charged with rape has shaken the family. His mother is so distressed she is saying she doesn’t want to live any more.
Indra Giri has five sons, and the eldest is married. The joint family lives in a small room with a sheet roof.
Lal Giri had taken a month’s leave from Vibgyor to go to Nepal for his police job interview. After the rape story broke, police took him into custody and didn’t let him go for nine days. They impounded his laptop, mobile and clothes. On July 22, they called him to the HAL station and took an undertaking, stating he had played no role in the rape.
“After three days, the HAL police again summoned my son saying they had some questions. They promised to send him back in an hour,” recalled Indra Giri.
The two went to the station in the morning. “The police kept him inside and I waited till 10 pm. I then asked them where he was. They said they had taken him elsewhere and told me to go home,” he said.
But on the first floor, he says, he saw Lal Giri being beaten with a cricket bat. “It was so painful to see it, I collapsed. My other son sprinkled water on my face,” he said.
The police then chased them out of the station. The next day, when Indra Giri returned, he found Lal Giri unconscious.
The family is poor. Indra Giri doesn’t earn enough to educate his children. “That’s why Lal Giri used to work in Vibgyor High. He had joined an evening college to studyBCom,” Indra Giri said.
A friend of Lal Giri said they had been together since childhood. “We used to play together. I have never seen him teasing girls. He has four brothers and no sisters, and respects women,” he said.
One of his students in Jayanagar, where he taught, said hundreds of girls had learnt gymnastics from him and he had never misbehaved with even one.
A neighbour said he had seen the family for 30 years. “We have given them food and clothes. Our daughter and other girls in the neighbourhood visit his house without any fear,” he said.
Alok Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), denied the allegation that the police had used third-degree methods to make Lal Giri confess.
“As far as I know, no third degree was used. There is scientific evidence against Lal Giri and corroborative evidence linking him to the rape,” he said.
However, he refused to reveal what the evidence was, saying the investigation was still in progress.