Wit­ness in case strug­gles to make ends meet

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Leena Dhankhar

NEW DELHI: De­cem­ber 16, 2012 is still fresh in Rajkumar Singh’s mem­ory. The Kargil war vet­eran was out in south Delhi when he spot­ted a young woman and her male friend se­verely in­jured on the road­side. It was a cold, misty night and ve­hi­cles were speed­ing by.

The 52-year-old called the po­lice con­trol room and waited with the vic­tims, get­ting them wa­ter and bed sheets to stem the blood flow. Af­ter they were taken to hospi­tal, he went home.

“I have seen the Kargil war but the vic­tim’s condi- tion was more bru­tal. I can never for­get that night,” he says. But the act of kind­ness ap­pears to have cost him dearly. Singh spent the next four years shut­tling be­tween courts and po­lice sta­tions, lost his job, took a pay cut and is now strug­gling to pro­vide for his fam­ily. The re­tired haval­dar was work­ing as a pa­trolling of­fi­cer with the high­way con­ces­sion­aire at the time. But while the me­dia spot­light on the case sparked a na­tion­wide move­ment to im­prove women’s safety and ef­fected changes in In­dia’s rape laws, Singh says the pro­longed ex­po­sure ru­ined him.

Po­lice came to my of­fice... I was made a wit­ness but my com­pany was not happy and told me that I was try­ing to take un­due ben­e­fit and mis­use the spot­light. They started ha­rass­ing me and fi­nally I had to re­sign.

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