Ludhiana, July 18: The Moga molestation and death case that rocked Punjab two years ago ended on Monday with the four alleged culprits being acquitted by the court. The additional sessions judge Lakhwinder Kaur Duggal acquitted all the four suspects in the Orbit bus molestation death case citing ‘lack of evidence.’ The case that lasted two years saw many twists and turns with eyewitnesses turning hostile.
A 13-year-old-girl, Arshdeep Kaur, had died after she and her mother were allegedly molested and pushed out of a moving bus in April, 2015. The bus belonged to Orbit Transport, a company co-owned by former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. The four acquitted, bus driver Ranjit Singh, conductor Sukhwinder Singh alias Pamma and helpers Amar Ram and Gurdeep Singh, were booked for murder, molestation and SC/ST Act.
However, later Shinder Kaur, the mother of the victim, Akashdeep, brother of the girl, who had accompanied her in the bus, had turned hostile in court. The two refused to identify the four accused and also said in their statements that they don’t remember details about the incident. Last year, Shinder Kaur also said that she and her daughter were not molested and that she does not remember being pushed off the bus. Earlier, she had claimed that she and her daughter were molested with obscene language and were pushed off the bus.
The father of the girl also turned hostile and said he doesn’t remember anything about the incident. The younger brother of the victim said he only remembers his sister and mother being pushed out of the bus.
The family of the victim had received Rs 24 lakh compensation from the previous Badal government following the incident. After nationwide outrage, the family was also promised government job. Sukhbir Badal’s Orbit buses also had to be taken off the roads after outrage over the incident.