Rape of a 16year-old Dalit girlCHILD CONCERN
Rape of a 16 year-old Dalit girl, impunity of the perpetrators
and serious threats against the victim
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in India.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by MASUM, a member organisation of the SOS-Torture Network, about the rape of a 16 year-old Dalit girl, followed by the impunity of the perpetrators and threats against the victim.
According to the information received, on 31st August 2010, G.H. was alone at home, in the village of Simulpur, District of West Bengal, when her neighbour, Mr. Bhadra Mondal asked her to bring him a bottle of water. As the tenant of the house next to G.H.'s, Mr. Bhadra had developed good relationships with her and her family, which made G.H. feel confident.
When G.H. entered the room where Bhandra was, she noticed another man called Manoranjan was standing there too. Suddenly, the two men tied her up on the bed, locked the door from inside, put a towel into her mouth and both raped her.
According to the same information, G.H. managed to unfasten the towel and started to cry. This attracted the neighbours' attention, who gathered at the door of the room. However, the two men rapidly sneaked out of the room and fled the scene. The neighbours took G.H. to the police station so that she lodged a complaint against Bhadra and Manoranjan.
At the Gaighata police station, the officer in charge, who allegedly had connexions with Mr. Bhadra Mondal, told G.H. to revise her complaint in order to accuse only Manoranjan. After Guria had written the complaint four times, the officer in charge, still not satisfied, dictated the complaint himself, forced G.H. to submit it as her own and initiated a case upon this version that accused only Manoranjan (Gaighata PS Case No. 284 dated 31.08.2010 under section 376 of Indian Penal Code).
According to the information received, G.H. and her family sat at the police station all night and only the next day G.H. was allowed to go to the Sub Divisional Hospital of Bongaon to have a medical examination.
As reported from the same source, three or four days later, the neighbours went back to the police station to ask about the status of the investigation because the two men were still free and were starting to threaten them. G.H. and her family also went several times to ask for the immediate arrest of the two perpetrators but until today, the two men remain free. G.H. was not provided with the First Information Report for more than a month after the event, which represents a violation of Section 154 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code.
On 5th October 2010, the villagers reportedly submitted a petition signed by about 104 villagers of Simulpur to the Superintendent of Police (24 Parganas, North District) asking for appropriate legal action to be taken against the two perpetrators. The petition resumed the main points of the incident: the low age of the victim, the description and localization of the two accused, the fact that one of them is an alleged recidivist rapist and the other one is suspected of conniving with the police and the political sphere, the impunity of the two perpetrators and the threats against the victim and her family.
Finally, according to the same source, during the first week of January 2011, a police officer came to G.H.'s house and informed her that a criminal case had been initiated against her, accusing her of having stolen Rs. 30'000 from the accused, conspired against them, and falsely implicated them into a criminal case.