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To get justice is not easy. And sometimes what justice seems to all is not the real justice. The co-called victim turns out to be the culprit. The case of Nurul Islam, a rape accused police official, was a ‘crystal clear’ case till the other day. Everyone including police, media and civil society groups were hell bent on terming Islam, 52, a dreaded criminal, who had been ‘absconding’ for past two years. But dark cloud loomed over the case following his son’s claim that his father is actually innocent and was framed in the case by some influential person. A drama unfolded as Islam surrendered in the court on Thursday. He was initially granted bail by the court and later taken into judicial custody following an appeal by the police. The police alleged that they were in the dark about surrender of the ‘absconding’ cop, against whom the state police served had lookout notice. But, the fact was that Islam had been appearing in the court for the past few months, both in the high court and the chief judicial magistrate’s court. This shows either Islam influenced court staff not to let police know about his presence in the court or police had been lying to the public about Islam’s presence.

Islam, the then officer-in-charge of Ampati police station allegedly raped two minor sisters in the gap of more than two weeks in March 2013. The cop, who has two children and both doctors, allegedly raped one of the girls in his chamber inside the police station. In fact, he had caught the girl, her sister, two married persons, and another girl that evening for allegedly creating nuisance at public place. In the second instance, he allegedly went to the ‘victim’ girl’s residence and raped her sister, after more than two weeks. The FIR was filed more than two-and-a-half months after the first ‘incident’.

Although there was lot of room for probing a conspiracy angle, the policeman turned villain overnight. The entire civil society was in a frenzy demanding harshest punishment to him. According to his son, it was due to this public pressure that his father decided to go underground, till he filed his appeal in the court. While it is not clear as to why the police official chose to bear the ‘absconding’ tag for so long in a democratic country, the case is also not crystal clear as has been portrayed by police and various groups. Justice should be delivered, to whoever deserves it.

(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on June 27)