Friday, November 08, 2002

First outraged, now doomed to live in ignominy

Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Sohna (Gurgaon), November 7
Meenakshi Devi (name changed), who had come here from Uttar Pradesh to spend a few days with her elder sister, Meera Devi, hardly realised that she would be gangraped and robbed of her belongings.

The incident took place in Behrawati Village, about 15 km from here. The police have not been able to arrest the four accused, even though their names are in the FIR. The family continues to live in shame and is still awaiting justice eight days after the incident.

The gory incident relating to the atrocities on women is not an isolated case in Sohna tehsil, falling in the backyards of Gurgaon city. Crime against women appears to be on the rise in this tehsil.

The Behrawati incident occurred at a farm land in the village. The four culprits are natives of the same village. They hail from the dominant Rajput community. So, the police are understood to be under pressure to go slow in the case.

Meera Devi (55) and her husband work as labourers on the farm of a resident of the village. They had set up a hutment on the farm. Incidentally, her husband is blind. Both of them are migratory labourers from UP.

As the family was sleeping, late at night, four hoodlums, allegedly armed with lathis and a countrymade weapon, barged in the farm land. They were allegedly inebriated.

After trespassing, they first molested Meera Devi in front of her relatives. When they were opposed, they cast their eyes on her sister, a few years younger to her. They allegedly took turns to rape her. They also beat up the male family members when challenged. After committing the crime, they took away the belongings, including some jewellery.

In another molestation case a few days before the Behrawati episode, a youth of Lohsanghani village, about 15 km from here, tried to molest a Dalit girl from the same village while she was going to answer the nature’s call in the morning.

The accused tried to do so at knife-point. Had it not been for the timely intervention from another women passing by, he would have had his way. The youth fled from the scene. When the girl’s mother went to the house of the accused to complain, he attacked her with a knife. Another woman who had intervened was injured. The incident has also been reported to the police.

It seems that these incidents have become quite common, leaving egg on the face of statutory institutions like the National Commission for Women, National Commission for Minorities, National Human Rights Commission and many other such institutions.

Source: The Tribune, November 8, 2002

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