The mother of the Dalit girl, who died after being thrown off bus by molestors, in hospital (File Photo)
A court in Punjab has acquitted a bus driver and his three accomplices of charges of molesting a 14-year-old Dalit girl
and pushing her off a moving bus leading to her death in Moga in 2015, citing "lack of evidence" after the victim's mother turned hostile.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Lakhwinder Kaur Duggal yesterday set free the bus driver, Ranjeet Singh, conductor Sukhwinder Singh alias Pamma and two helpers - Amar Ram and Gurdeep Singh. They had been booked for murder under the Indian Penal Code and under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as well as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on the statement of the girl's mother.
On April 29, 2015, the Dalit girl had died after she was allegedly molested and later pushed out of a moving bus along with her mother. The shocking case had triggered nationwide outrage.
The prime witnesses in the case, the girl's mother had turned hostile while her brother had told the court that he remembers his mother and sister being pushed out of the bus, but could not identify the accused. The father of the girl, who is a daily wager, termed it as "God's will". He went on to say that the then Akali Dal government had promised a job to him, which has not been given so far.
"I have been running from pillar to post to get that job. I have lost count of how many times I visited the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Moga and even went to Lambi to meet the then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal." He was told that "the promise of giving a job to the family should be fulfilled by the Capt Amarinder Singh government".