Itanagar WPS’s dogged determination to arrest a rape accused

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 3 Jul: In a story straight out of a Bollywood movie, a daring team from the women’s police station (WPS) here recently arrested a rape accused from Leh, the joint capital of union territory Ladakh. The police arrested him after a two-year hunt. Even though the arrest made headlines, the details of the case had somewhat remained elusive. As per the detail shared by a senior official of Itanagar WPS, the whole operation to arrest the accused identified as Lekh Ram (LR) Meena started on 17 September 2020, the day the victim lodged an FIR alleging rape. In her FIR, she alleged that Meena raped her with the false promise of marriage.

However, the investigation was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Meena was currently serving as a constable in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). The police had to start the investigation from scratch as they had no information about the accused except his name, profession, and phone number. “We only had information that the accused is an ITBP jawan and that his name is LR Meena. We kept tracking his phone and finally, this led us to Leh culminating in his arrest,” said the official of women PS here.

After receiving the FIR from the victim, police started contacting all authorities of ITBP in Arunachal. “The accused was never posted in Arunachal Pradesh and therefore it made things very difficult. We contacted ITBP officials in various parts of Arunachal. But it was of no help as he was never posted in the state because of which ITBP had no information about him,” the official added.

The victim, who hails from the East Kameng district met the accused through the social media platform Facebook and fell in love. “They were in a relationship for 7 months. During this time the accused visited Arunachal Pradesh to meet the victim,” said the official. It was a difficult task to track the accused and police had to use various sources. “We had to use technical surveillance as well as human intelligence. Some of the phone numbers shared with the victim by the accused was obtained using fake documents. But all of these somehow helped us to gather pieces together, ultimately leading to his arrest,” said an official of WPS.

When the police team arrived at Leh to arrest the accused he did put up some resistance. “The Ladakh police, ITBP, officials of Leh airport and security officials of Srinagar were very cooperative. Without their support we would not have been able to arrest him,” the official went on to add. The police team who went to Leh to arrest the accused included, inspector Pungmin Taku, OC women PS, Itanagar, SI R Singpho from WPS, constable P Medhi from Itanagar PS, and constable P Haldar from Papu Hill PS.