Patna,(BiharTimes): Decrying police inaction the Bihar unit of the People’s Unity of Civil Liberty (PUCL) has demanded an independent inquiry into two cases of gangrapes in Kopi and Ghanaur villages under Katra police station of Muzaffarpur district. In one case the victim killed by the rapists was just 14 years old.
The two gangrapes were committed on July 12 and May 19, 2012 under the same police station of the district, but were not much highlighted in the media initially.
The news actually hit the headlines when in July last women group took up the cause of a teenaged girl gangraped in Patna by about half a dozen youths. It is then that the relatives of the two victims mustered courage to raise the issue of gangrapes in their villages.
A six-member fact-finding team lead by Professor Daisy Banerjee had visited the site of occurrence and other places on August 27, 2012. They met large number of persons besides procuring and perusing some of the documents including the FIR filed by the victims’ families, post-mortem reports, and forensic report.
The report said that a mechanism should be developed to check denial of complaints by the police. Mahila thanas (Women police stations) should be opened in every district to look into cases of violation of the rights of women. Also, there should be an intensive training of police personnel on different dimensions of human rights.
The team said that environment of intimidation and fears still exist in the family of the victims, though several months have passed. The police should help the family to come out from this fear.
Ironically, according to the PUCL team, the Kopi village has a woman mukhiya. It said that public perception of post mortem documents is that they are manipulated and changed, as they can be purchased. There is a loss of faith in the system that have been created and people are confused and disgusted.
As one of the victims was gangraped and killed while returning after attending the call of nature in the open field the report called for toilet facilities in rural households in Bihar. “There are many cases of rape and sexual harassments of women taking place in the early hours before sunrise or when dusk sets in, when women go to the field to attend nature’s call. These are basic facilities and relate to women’s right to life and dignity. Amidst all the talk of development at the macro level there is neglect of ground realities and difficulties that surround the life of women,” PUCL team said.
It must be recalled that a 14-years-old of Kopi village was gangraped on July 12, 2012. She was a student of Class VIII. After attending school and daily tuition she returned home at around 6:00 PM. Then she went to attend nature’s call. As she did not return home for more than an hour, the family members suspected something foul and they started searching for her.
The body was later found in a bush, where she was strangulated to death by her ‘dupatta’ while her shalwar had blood stains. It was reported by the family members that there was vaginal bleeding. Her body was brought home at around 10 PM.
Another lady Meera Sahni W/o Chhote Sahani of Ghanour village was gangraped on May 19, 2012. Meera is a mother of five children while her husband lives in Kolkata to earn his livelihood. On the night of May 19, 2012, an unknown phone call came on Meera’s mobile around 9 PM. The caller, who didn’t identify himself, told her that her elder son, Rajesh Kumar, 14, has been murdered near the school.
The PUCL team said that she moved out in the night though the weather condition was not good. The persons, who were waiting for her outside, asked her to sit on his bike. They took her to a quiet place and gang raped her.