Rakhi Chakrabarty,TNN | Jun 3, 2014, 06.51 AM IST
“The policemen, who are also the culprits, have been charged with abetment under Section 120B of the IPC. In keeping with the Justice Verma Commission recommendations, they should be named accused and Section 166A applicable to public servants should also be invoked in the case,” said AIDWA secretary Sehba Farooqui who was part of the four-member team that visited the village where the incident occurred. AIDWA general secretary Jagmati Sangwan was also part of the team.
The AIDWA report recalled SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comment on rape at an election rally in Moradabad in April saying such statements may have played a role in emboldening criminals in UP. Yadav had sparked outrage when he said that rape accused should not be hanged and that men make mistakes.
“We want to reiterate that rape can hardly be called a mistake as Mr Yadav thinks it is. More often than not it is a premeditated act and an expression of power over women. It can in no way be condoned by using the old patriarchal argument ‘boys will be boys’,” the AIDWA report said.
Besides, the victims’ families have not yet received the compensation announced by the UP government. The AIDWA demanded the UP government announce a policy of compensation and rehabilitation of all rape victims “instead of continuing with its current policy of “pick and choose”.
The AIDWA team met families of the rape victims, villagers and policemen. According to their report, “The region is dominated by the Yadav community and many members are known for their bullying and aggressive tactics. This has become more pronounced under the present SP regime. The accused all belong to the Yadav community and are recent migrants to the area. Many police officers and personnel posted in the area also belong to the same community.”
Villagers told the AIDWA team that these cops intimidate the poor.
The families of the victims — who are cousins — are poor agricultural labourers. “They live in mud huts with no electricity or toilets,” said Farooqui.
After the girls went missing, their parents went to the police chowki in the village.
Narrating the parents’ experience, the AIDWA’s report said, “The policemen on duty pretended to be sleeping. When they were woken up they pretended to be angry and shouted at the girls’ fathers. Finally, the policemen said they knew where the girls were and that they would be “returned” after two hours. The poor, desperate men felt they had no choice but to go home and wait for their daughters to be “returned”.”
When the girls did not return, their family members hired a vehicle and left for the district headquarters at 4 am. “They were chased by a policeman on a bike who told them to look for their daughters in the mango orchard. When they reached, they saw their daughters hanging from the tree. The families of the girls are convinced that the policemen were also part of the gang that raped and killed their daughters,” the report said.
Besides Badaun, there were incidents of rape in Azamgarh, Etawah, Lakhimpur Khiri and Greater Noida in one week.