Dalit teen gang rape victim raped again at PS, 6 held

Close on the heels of a shocking brutal gang rape of a seven-year-old girl in Ayodhya, a 13-yr-old minor Dalit girl was raped by SHO at Pali police station in Lalitpur district of UP, where she had gone to lodge complaint of a gang rape by four persons, reports Mudit Mathur

Even before the public anger over the brutal gang rape of a seven-year-old girl in Ayodhya could die down, another shocking news rocked the nation when a 13-year-old minor Dalit girl was allegedly raped inside the premises of Pali police station by the incharge station officer in Lalitpur district of Bundelkhand. The girl had gone to file an FIR against four persons who had allegedly gang raped her after abducting her to Bhopal.

The state government swung into action mode soon after some political leaders highlighted the incident questioning tall claims of the BJP about safety of the women and law and order in the state. With the incident sending shockwaves across the country, the National Human Rights Commission issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and the Director General of Police, asking them to submit a report in this regard within four weeks.

The leader of Opposition and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also visited Lalitpur and met the rape survivor at the district hospital. The Congress Party highlighted the vulnerability of the women in the state wondering where they should go to file their complaint and whom they should trust. BSP chief Mayawati and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter to attack the Yogi Adityanath-led state government over the incident. The victim is from Dalit community.

The chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his displeasure over the Lalitpur incident involving the alleged rape of a 13-year-old rape victim by the Pali police station’s SHO and sought a reply from the district police chief. He was reviewing law and order in the Bundelkhand region of the state after meeting the public representatives. He also stressed the need to take strict action against the land grabbers and maintain law and order.

Seeing the escalating political temperature over the matter, the state police quickly nabbed all the six accused persons including station incharge of Pali, Tilakdhari Saroj from Priyagraj district near High Court building.  As soon as the allegations of rape surfaced against him, he had gone absconding and changing his locations and mobile sim cards to evade his arrest. Police also arrested maternal aunt of the victim for her suspicious role behind the crime.

The additional DGP of Kanpur Zone, Bhanu Bhaskar told media that the department has set up a departmental inquiry and suspended the accused police station incharge with immediate effect. Rest of the police officials of the police station have been sent to police lines.

According to the complaint lodged by  victim’s mother, “My daughter went to Pali police station for lodging FIR on 27th April. In the meantime, on the pretext of recording her statement the SHO took her to his room and raped her.” “She was abducted to Bhopal by four men – Chandan, Rajbhan, Harishankar and Mahendra Chaurasia on April 22 and then raped for four days. They then dropped her back at the police station in her village and escaped.” she alleged.

“The woman’s aunt was then called to pick her up, and told to bring the girl back the next day to record her statement. The aunt allegedly did not tell the girl’s parents of her whereabouts. Instead, she took the girl back to the accused the next day, and Saroj took the girl into a separate room and raped her,” the FIR alleges.

The matter got prominence when the girl was approached for counselling by Child Line NGO and she narrated her ordeal to its volunteers. The volunteers informed the SP on whose instructions her report under the charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, gang rape under Sections 363, 376, 376B, 120B of IPC and Section 3, 4 of POSCO and Section 3(2)(V) of SC-ST Act were registered against accused persons. On April 30, the girl again came to the police station, at which point she was handed over to workers from the NGO ChildLine. The NGO workers spoke to her and detailed her allegations.

Lalitpur police said they have charged Saroj for rape and under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. “The SHO is suspended and he is a named criminal so we have formed teams to arrest him. An NGO brought the girl to my office. She had given them the details. After I was informed of it, I ensured that a case was filed,” Lalitpur police chief Nikhil Pathak said in a statement.

Criticising the government’s failure, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted, “The gang-rape of a 13-year-old girl in Lalitpur and then raped by a SHO after taking a complaint shows how law and order reforms are being suppressed in the noise of “bulldozers”. ”If police stations are not safe for women, then where will they go to lodge  complaints? Has the UP government seriously thought to increase the deployment of women in police stations, to make police stations safe for women?” she enquired.

“The Congress party had kept many important points for women’s safety in its women’s manifesto. To prevent such incidents, serious steps have to be taken for women’s safety and women-friendly law and order,” she added.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also strongly criticised the incident and went  to Lalitpur to meet the victim. Appealing his cadre to fight injustice, he tweeted, “If all of us do not stand together today against the rape of a daughter in Lalitpur, then the unbridled law and order will reach our doors.” “The BJP government has mortgaged justice in the police stations by politically misusing the police. Expecting justice from such a government is meaningless,” he added.

The Aam Admi Party has taken out strong protest march all over the state and handed over memorandum to district authorities over the murder of a daughter in Chandauli by ‘Adityanath’s police’ and the rape of a daughter in a police station in Lalitpur. The protesters demanded justice for daughters and strict punishment to the culprits, demanding a CBI inquiry under the supervision of the High Court.

In another incident in Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh where National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports that the police personnel of Mehrauli police station “subjected a woman domestic help to extreme torture by stripping her and brutally beating with a belt. The Commission has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state’s police chief over these reports. The police officer and his family have not only “misused their position” but also subjected the victim to physical torture and cruelty, the NHRC observed.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Imran Ahmad said that a constable Anshu Patel and his wife first badly beat up their 32-year-old housemaid and her husband at their home. Later, the constable took her to Kotwali police station where he and a woman sub-inspector again mercilessly beat her up. The state police taking strong view of the matter, suspended constable Patel and the woman sub-inspector Parul Chandel. A criminal case has been registered against them.

Meanwhile, there is no further progress in the shocking violent gang rape case reported from the Ayodhya where a seven-year-old girl was brutalised by three persons but the police has just arrested only one labourer despite her testimony recorded before a judicial magistrate. However, no further financial assistance was provided for victim’s treatment who has to undergo multiple operations in KGMC Lucknow.

Court dismisses PIL, says plea nonjusticiable

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea to constitute a fact-finding committee and the “opening of 22 rooms” on the monument’s premises to find out the “real truth” behind the Taj Mahal construction, calling it a “non-justiciable” issue. A non-justiciable issue is something, which the Court cannot decide or go into.

During the hearing, Justices Devendra Kumar Upadhyay and Subhash Vidyarthi said, “We are of the opinion that petitioner has called upon us to give a verdict on completely a non-justiciable issue.””The first prayer (to constitute a fact-finding committee to study “real history” of Taj Mahal) cannot be adjudicated by this court,” the bench ruled.

“We are not convinced with your prayers. What are you seeking is the exploration of facts through a fact-finding committee? That’s none of your rights and it’s not under the ambit of the RTI Act,” the bench contended.

The judges also ridiculed the petitioner who sought a declaration that certain provisions of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act 1951, to be ultra-vires, which stood repealed about sixty-four years ago.