Wanted in Arunachal, rape accused arrested in Leh
Lekh Ram Meena, the rape accused (right)

Tinsukia: In a daring move by the Arunachal Police personnel, two women police officers and two constables travelled nearly 3,000 km by air and road to catch a rape accused, thereby closing a two-year-old case.

The accused, identified as Lekh Ram Meena, serving as a constable with 16 ITBP, was arrested by the Arunachal Police from Leh, the joint capital of the Union territory of Ladakh.

“The entire operation to nab the accused took us eight days,” Inspector Pungming Taku, who led the team, told this correspondent over the phone from Itanagar. Taku happens to be the officer-in-charge of the women’s police station in the capital region.

She said the most crucial puzzle was to ascertain the culprit’s identity. “The FIR had only the name, profession and numerous phone numbers, which turned out to be issued on fake identities, derailing the investigation from making headway. Hence, to track the person became a challenging task.”

In September 2020, a woman filed a police complaint, saying she was raped by one LR Meena on the pretext of marriage. A case was registered under Section 376/417/34 of the Indian Penal Code. 

To start the investigation, the Police took the lead from the FIR and wrote to almost all ITBPs within their jurisdiction. “Here too, we were meted out with hard luck. The accused was never posted here, hence could not get a single piece of information related to his identity that could help us crack the case,” Taku said. 

Taku added that luckily, the Police found a number that revealed his address in Rajasthan. 

“We immediately engaged a few sources, and after a few failed attempts as he was moving constantly, we finally zeroed him at Leh,” Taku said. “Without any delay, I along with sub-inspector Rosy Singpo and two constables—P. Haldar and P. Medhi—went to Leh and with the help of various agencies including Ladakh police, ITBP, Airport Authority of India, particularly AKS Bilwaria – regional director of the bureau of civil aviation (security) in Srinagar, we succeeded in arresting the accused and bring him back to Arunachal Pradesh to face the law,” Taku added. 

Singpho, the case’s investigation officer, told this correspondent that the complainant came in touch with the accused through social media – highlighting the ill effects of social media when it comes to trusting an unknown person.

Superintendent of Capital police Jimmy Chiram said initially, there was a delay in the investigation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The case is still under investigation, hence more details cannot be shared at this point,” he added.

“Women police station in Itanagar strives to solve each case of crime against women,” Chiram said, “Taku and her team have shown excellent initiative in solving an old case through sheer effort and persistence and will be an inspiration for junior officers and those who wish to join the police force.”

Also Read | One more death due to landslides in Arunachal, toll rises to 18

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