Friday, December 25, 2009

‘I was so shocked... nervous’: Ruchika's Statement

On August 21, 1990, nine days after she was molested, Ruchika Girhotra had recorded her statement before R R Singh, former DGP, Haryana. In her statement, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, Ruchika had said that senior police official S P S Rathore, who was then the president of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA), had said he would provide extra tennis coaching for her.

According to the statement, Rathore went to Ruchika’s father on August 11, 1990, and advised him against sending her to Canada as she was a promising player.

“On August 12, 1990 at around 12 noon, I was told by a ball picker, Paltoo, that I should meet Rathore in his office. Accordingly, I and my friend Reemu (Aradhana, daughter of Anand Parkash) went to meet Rathore who was alone there, standing outside. On seeing us, he came into the office and also asked us to come inside the office. I had requested him that he may listen to me outside the office, but he kept on insisting and perforce I had to go inside the room. He asked one person present there to bring only one chair, in which my friend Reemu sat down. I kept on standing,” says Ruchika’s statement.

Rathore then sent Aradhana to call the coach. “As soon as Reemu left the place, Rathore caught hold of my hand, put one of his hands around my waist and pressed me against his body tightly. I tried to get rid of Rathore by pushing him away with one of my hands which Rathore was not holding. I was so shocked and became nervous with the behaviour of Rathore. In the meantime, Reemu came in and, seeing her, Rathore released me and sat down in his chair. When Reemu informed Rathore that Thomas had refused to come, Rathore rebuked her in a loud voice and told her to bring the coach,” adds the statement.

“As Reemu was about to leave, I also tried to leave, but Rathore insisted on me staying there, saying, ‘Ruchika, you stay here and Reemu, you go out and call the coach and tell him that I am calling him.’ I ran out of the room and, later, when Reemu came out of the room, she told me that Sir (Rathore) had asked her to tell me to cool down,” says Ruchika’s statement.

Rathore reportedly told Aradhana to tell Ruchika that he would do whatever she wanted. “I told Reemu what Rathore did to me. She had also seen Rathore misbehaving with me. I asked Reemu what to do and decided not to inform our parents about the incident since Rathore was Inspector General of Police and he may involve my family members. After a few days, I again received a message that Rathore was asking for me. I thought that since I have not complained to my parents about the misconduct, Rathore was getting encouraged. Finally, I told my parents about the incident,” adds the statement.