Twenty three years after French national Katia Darnand was kidnapped and molested by then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s grand son Gurkirat Kotli, the National Commission for Woman today reopened the case by issuing notice to the Punjab government. According to senior SAD leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal, who accompanied petitioner - Delhi councilor Gurjeet Kaur to the NCW office, NCW Chairperson Lalita Kumar Mangalam took due note of the complaint and said she would ensure justice was done in the matter.The complainant Gurjeet Kaur appealed to the Commission to reopen the case and order a fresh trial saying appropriate sections of IPC were not included in the case against former CM Beant Singh’s grand-son Gurkirat Kotli who attacked, kidnapped, molested and probably raped Katia Darnand on the fateful day of August 31, 1994.Gurjeet Kaur submitted that her petition germinated from an article which had been published in The Tribune on August 14 this year in the form of an open letter from Katia Darnand. She said the foreign national said in the letter that she complained against Gurkirat Kotli and even identified him in a test parade besides recording her statement before a magistrate under section 164 CrPC.
She said despite all this she did not get justice and she was forced to give up the case due to fear of her life. “Katia says she was forced to choose for her life over dignity and justice was denied to her. She also said she regretted coming to India, all of which is a shame for us”, the woman councilor said.Giving further details to the NCW, Gurjeet said Gurkirat Kotli offered Katia drinks when she was sitting in a hotel in Chandigarh. She said when Katia refused this overture and got up to go to her friend’s house in Mohali, Gurkirat and six of his accomplices followed her and finally abducted her. The councilor submitted that the case was not pursued effectively by the prosecution due to pressure from the the CM, Punjab.Stating that the wheel had turned full circle again, Gurjeet said now the case was fit for reinvestigation after Katia Darnand’s open letter. She said however one could not expect the Congress government to do anything as it had not even taken cognizance of the letter and taken suo moto action against Gurkirtal Kotli and his accomplices.Others accompanying Gurjeet Kaur included SAD leaders Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Parminder Singh Brar.