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Rape of Dalit

Sex crimes against SCs/STs rising since 2014, experts say it’s power play

Sanya Dhingra

Women protesting against the rise of rape cases in Haryana | Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

According to NCRB data, 13.9 per cent of all atrocities against SCs and 14.8 per cent of all crimes against STs were rape or sexual assault.

New Delhi: There has been a long-held – although disputed – feminist argument that rape is about power, not sexual gratification. India’s latest crime statistics seem to back this belief, experts said.

Since 2014, sexual violence against the Scheduled Castes (SC) has been the most dominant form of atrocities perpetrated against the marginalised group, and has been increasing marginally each year.

According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau statistics, 13.9 per cent of all atrocities committed against SCs included rape or sexual assault. In 2015 and 2014, these crimes constituted 12.73 per cent and 10.9 per cent of all crimes respectively.

In 2016, similar patterns were recorded against Scheduled Tribes (ST). Rape accounted for 14.8 per cent of all crimes reported against STs, followed only by 12.7 per cent cases of assault on women, with intent to outrage their modesty.

About 973 cases of rape were reported in 2016 against ST women, whereas 2,541 cases of rape were reported against SC women.

Not a surprise

Experts say the data is not surprising in the least. While there’s much to be said about gender violence in general, in a society saturated with caste hierarchies, sexual violence becomes yet another way to assert the violability of lower castes, they argue.

“Caste is an instrument of patriarchy, and a system of dominance and oppression. To keep control over lower castes, one of the easiest ways is to violate the bahu-betis of the Dalit community,” says Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research.

The lack of access to law enforcement for Dalits makes matters worse, argues Kumari. While it is not unusual for caste women to be dismissed by the police, the occurrence of the phenomenon is much higher with Dalit and Adivasi women, she says.

The social subordination of Dalit men makes them incapable of providing any security to “their” women, she says, as opposed to men from dominant castes, who are seen as ‘virile’ enough to guard the women of their communities.

Why the rising numbers?

But what explains the percentage increase over the last few years? While greater reporting of crimes against the marginalised may be one of the more obvious explanations, that alone doesn’t explain the rise.

“Given the agrarian crisis, violence against marginalised communities is bound to increase,” argues Ritambhara Hebbar, chairperson at the Centre for Study of Developing Societies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Dominant castes do not find the subservience from lower caste groups that they have been traditionally used to, thus making them uneasy.
Further, with men from lower caste groups increasingly migrating to cities and urban areas in search of employment, women of their families are rendered vulnerable back in their villages.

The same holds true for adivasi women, Hebbar explains. “With widespread displacement of adivasis, women lose the secure conditions of life, making them vulnerable to sexual attacks,” she says.

Political assertion by Dalits is another reason for the increase in attacks against them, adds Kumari. “Wherever Dalits assert themselves, there is a concerted attempt to crush them, and sexual attacks on Dalit women are part of this,” she says.

While all this remains true, NCRB data reveals yet again that the majority of cases under all crimes against women are perpetrated by their husbands or the husband’s relatives. It is not as though SC/ST women are shielded from this violence within the domestic sphere. “Let’s not pretend like Dalit men do not perpetrate violence on women in their own families,” Kumari says.

With inputs from Apurva Vishwanath.

Rape of Dalit women registers 500% increase since 2001, RTI reveals

Rape of Dalit women rose in Gujarat over the last 13 years, reaching the highest in 2014, higher by 500 per cent since 2001.

Parimal A Dabhi | Gandhinagar | Updated: March 8, 2015

According to the RTI reply, dated February 23, 2015 – provided by Deputy Superintendent of Police of DGP Office, G M Malek – the number records five-time increase in the rape incidents against Dalit women, compared to 2001 when only 14 such cases were recorded.Rape of Dalit women rose in Gujarat over the last 13 years, reaching the highest in 2014, higher by 500 per cent since 2001, says an RTI reply. The reply to an RTI application by Mehsana-based human rights activist Kaushik Parmar, from the office of Director General of Police (DGP), Gujarat, revealed that 74 Dalit women were allegedly raped and cases were registered under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in 2014.
The data provided in reply to the RTI application reveal that total 501 rape cases were registered between January 2001 and December 2014. Incidentally, the Government of Gujarat launched the women’s helpline ‘Abhayam’ in November that year for the state to check atrocities on women.
The figures are in stark contrast to the state government’s claims on women’s empowerment, like 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies, enforcing 33 per cent reservation for women in police force and highest Budget allocation for social sector. Commenting on the data, Parmar said, “The five-fold increase in the number of rape cases in Gujarat even when the chief minister is a woman shows that the tall claims of Gujarat Government on women empowerment and social harmony are hollow.”
Minister of State (Home), Rajnikant Patel, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
The RTI reply also provided data, as sought by Parmar, on the number of villages in Gujarat where Dalits were provided police protection against local influential communities in different districts. According to the reply, police protection has presently been provided to Dalits by the government in 116 villages of the state.
Minor Dalit girl raped in Moga

Moga:  A case of abduction and rape of a minor Dalit girl has come to light here with police registering a complaint in the matter. 

A 15-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly abducted by one Shinder Singh from Dharamkot on February 23. 

According to the complaint lodged by the victim's parents, Singh took the girl to a secluded place and raped her before dropping her near her house the next morning.

The victim's parents, however, only last night lodged a complaint against the accused, police said. No arrests have been made so far in the case, they added.

Teenage  allegedly raped by two minors in Tamil Nadu 

by J Sam 

Daniel Stalin

January 05, 2013Teenage girl allegedly raped by two minors in Tamil Nadu                                                

 The sixteen-year-old girl, a factory worker has accused two boys of forcibly taking her out of her house and sexually assaulting her in a school compound nearby. She alleged that the boys, who were sexually assaulting her, fled the scene when villagers came after her cries for help, police said. The police have registered a case of rape under the new Prevention of Sexual offences from Sexual Offences (POSCO Act 2012). Police say interrogation has revealed that the boys were under the influence of alcohol during the time of the crime. The girl has been hospitalised for medical examination and the accused boys have been sent to a juvenile home. A series of rape cases have come to light in Tamil Nadu over the last two weeks while the entire country came together following the gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student in a Delhi bus who died from the horrific injuries inflicted on her by the rapists. In Tuticorin, a schoolgirl was murdered after a bid to rape her. In Nagapattinam district, a minor girl was allegedly raped by two minor boys. In Salem district, two maids were allegedly sexually assaulted by their employers. In neighbouring Puducherry, a minor girl was allegedly kidnapped in a bus and later raped. The alleged perpetrators had lied to her that her mother had met with an accident and was in a hospital. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has pressed for death penalty for rapists and has ordered creation of exclusive fast track courts in the state to expedite justice to victims of rape.  

 Supreme Court sets aside life sentence of Dalit woman’s rapist

A woman holds a placard as she participates in a protest against rape. A woman holds a placard as she participates in a protest against rape.   | Photo Credit: AP

The Supreme Court set aside the life imprisonment of a man for raping a Dalit woman 23 years ago, saying there is no evidence to prove that he intended to rape her just because she belonged to the oppressed caste.

A Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R. Banumathi found Asharfi, the convict, not guilty under Section 3 (2) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

This provision in the Act, meant to protect the members of the SC/ST community from atrocities, deals with offences envisaged in the Indian Penal Code which carry a punishment of over 10 years.

Before its amendment on January 26, 2016, Section 3 (2) (v) required evidence that the accused committed the crime with an intention to insult or “belittle” his victim, who belonged to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe.

Post 2016, the particular Section was changed so that even mere knowledge on the part of the accused that his victim belonged to the SC/ST community was enough proof to bring home the charge under the special law.

In Asharfi’s case, the Supreme Court concluded that since the rape was committed in 1995, over a decade before the provision was amended in 2016, the prosecution had to prove that he intended the crime as a means to belittle his victim. Mere proof of his knowledge that the victim was a person from the SC/ST community was not enough. Clearly, the amended Section 3 (2) (v) of 2016 did not apply for this case, the apex court found.

“In the present case, the unamended Section 3(2)(v) of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act is applicable as the occurrence was on the night of 8/9.12.1995. From the unamended provision of Section 3(2) (v) of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, it is clear that the statute laid stress on the intention of the accused in committing such offence in order to belittle the person as he/she belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe community. The evidence and materials on record do not show that the appellant (Asharfi) had committed rape on the victim on the ground that she belonged to Scheduled Caste,” Justice Banumathi wrote in the recent judgment for the Bench.

The court concluded that “Section 3(2)(v) of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act can be pressed into service only if it is proved that the rape has been committed on the ground that the victim belonged to Scheduled Caste community. In the absence of evidence proving intention of the appellant in committing the offence upon the victim only because she belongs to Scheduled Caste community, the conviction of the appellant under Section 3(2)(v) of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act cannot be sustained”.

Setting aside the life sentence under the SC/ST Atrocities Act, the apex court nevertheless confirmed his 10-year sentence for gang-rape. However, it ordered the convict's release, forthwith, as he had already undergone the sentence of 10 years.


India-Fact Finding Report on the Rapes in Haryana 

A team of leaders and activists of AIPWA and AISA visited Haryana on 12-13 October, to investigate the alarming spate of rape cases in the state. The team comprised of AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan, JNU Students’ Union Councillor Anubhuti Bara, and AISA activists from Delhi University, Prerna and Saurabh Naruka. The team was accompanied by Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat, in-charge of the CPI(ML) for Haryana.

Findings and observations of the team are as follows:

 Dabra Case

Reshma (name changed), aged 16 years, belonging to Dalit community (Chamar) was gangraped by 8 persons on September 9, 2012 near Dabra village in Hisar district.

 Rape and Resistance – A Survivor’s Account

“On September 9, I was on the way to my grandmother’s (and maternal uncle’s) home in Hisar town, around 3 pm, when I was dragged into a car in which there were 8 men, and taken to a deserted place near a tube-well. They made phone calls after which four more arrived on bikes. They (12 in all) all raped me, and filmed the act. They also threatened me that they would kill me and attack my family if I said anything. They forced me to swallow a pill, after which I became drowsy. When I came to, I came to the main road, hitched a lift on a passing bike and returned home.

I said nothing for nearly 10 days. My mother and I went to stay at my grandmother’s place on 11th. On 18th, my father came there and my parents both began asking me what the matter was. They had noticed that I was silent and depressed. Eventually I broke down and told them. My father then wanted to take me to the thana to file a complaint, but for some reason – hesitation or some pressure, I don’t know why – did not do that.

He left the house and went with my mother to the house of Randeep Surjewala’s mother-in-law (Surjewala is a Congress MLA and Industries Minister in the Haryana Govt), where he (my father) worked as a gardener. I heard that her security guard (associated with Punjab Police) showed my father the video of my rape. My father then sent my mother back to my grandmother’s home. And he then took poison and committed suicide.

On the same day, we went and filed an FIR. Dalit leaders with the help of villagers held a candle light protest, demanding action by the police. We said that we will hold a dharna and refuse to accept my father’s body for last rites, till the police arrests the accused. The dharna began on 19th. One of the accused is the nephew of the former MLA (elected from INLD), Puran Singh, who stays in the same village. Eventually we called off the dharna on 23rd, after the police made the first arrest.

I was shown photographs, and I made a positive identification of one of the rapists, and was unsure about another. But the police took the latter into remand, and beat that poor chap up badly, but did not take the one I had positively identified, into remand, though they did keep him in custody. Now, however, 8 of the accused have been arrested. The Test Identification Parade has not yet taken place, so I cannot say whether these 8 are indeed the culprits.

Since most of the accused are from the Jat community, the Sarpanch and other influential Jats in the village are protecting them. They even tried, through someone, to try to offer me Rs 2 crore to withdraw the case.

The accused live in the same village, in the area where the Jats live. Many of the accused have a criminal background. One of them is accused of killing a Jay boy, and a Chamar (Dalit) boy. Other rapes have occurred, many of them with Dalit girls, at the same spot. But Dalits work under Jats, and so are scared or reluctant to speak out.

The family of the Chamar boy who was brutally murdered have come forward to help us.

Where Jats are accused of rape, there are many powerful people to protect them. When Dalits rape someone from the Jat community, the entire Dalit community would be attacked. In our own village, a Dalit youth who fell in love with a Jat girl was killed. The girl was told to invite him home since her family had agreed to the marriage; they packed the girl off somewhere and killed the Dalit youth.

Sonia Gandhi came to Haryana to visit the family of a rape victim. The media kept asking me that day – why didn’t she come here? How can I answer that – would she phone me to let me know the reason?! The fact is that she won’t come here for fear of antagonising the Jat vote for the Congress.
The Government has promised my brother a job – but they are offering him a job that is not permanent.
I would like to go to school – but I feel I can’t go to the same school. I guess I will join a school that is further away.
 Persistent Fear
Pushpa Barad and her daughter Sunita Barad (Reshma’s neighbours), told us that there are only three lanes in the village where Chamars live. There are about 500 Jat households, and 300 Dalit households(including Chamar, Dhanak and other Dalit communities.)
So the Chamars and other Dalits feel very vulnerable. Since the gang-rape, Sunita said she has stopped attending the training classes (towards a job) that she had enrolled for. The reason is that her brother was threatened by Jat men that his sister would not be safe as long as Reshma persisted in her case. Other Dalit girls too are scared to go to school.
There is a 24-hour police watch around Reshma’s house – but the rest of the Dalit community also seek police protection.
Pushpa told us that the former MLA Puran Singh family is quite influential locally, and the daughter of OmPrakash Chautala has also been married in their family.
Local Congress MLA Ram Niwas visited the victim family but showed his helplessness when he said that he can’t do much as he is still only ‘under training’!
Arrests of the Accused
Baljit, one of the accused, was arrested on September 23. We were told that this arrest took place when a girl student from the Jat community spotted him on a bus and tipped off the police. The police too confirmed this.
Several others among the accused were picked up from Ranikhet, Uttarakhand. The 8 now arrested have been apprehended with the help of villagers, some of them Jats.
The Sarpanch
The Sarpanch of the village is Mayawati Kaliravana, a woman, but her husband Inder is the one who goes by the title of Sarpanch. She (Mayawati) says she visited the rape survivor, but Inder admitted that while he had met her relatives, he had not actually met the survivor.
Inder denied that any help or protection was being given to the accused. He said that the accused were criminals, and had misbehaved with Jat girls just as well.
Involvement of Non-Jat Accused
All the accused in the case are from the Jat community. Many we spoke to suggested that the rape survivor had gone to the spot of the rape, of her own accord, with a man on a two-wheeler. This man, they said, is from the ‘Chhippi’ (tailor) community and is married and has children. The Sarpanch’s husband Inder said this man has a mobile phone shop, and helped make the MMS.
We must stress, though, that none we spoke to denied that the gang-rape occurred or that the Jat boys were responsible for the gang-rape.
The SP, however, said that this man from the Chippi community was a chemist, and had given the girl a contraceptive pill. When he and the girl emerged from the shack at the tube-well, they were surrounded by the Jat boys who had spotted them, roughed up the girl’s companion and raped her. According to the police, the accused had taken photographs of the girl at the time of the incident, but had not made or circulated an MMS. These photographs, though deleted from the phones of the accused, had been recovered through technology. They showed the girl weeping, and the faces of several of the accused, and were therefore valuable evidence. The man from the Chippi community too has been arrested.
Was this, then, a caste crime?
The police seem to believe, based on the above version, that the gang-rape was of an opportunist rather than a pre-planned nature. Therefore, they seem to assume that the gang-rape should not be seen as a crime against Dalits.
It is true that a girl of any other community in the same situation, too might be vulnerable to rape. But what cannot be ignored is that these were Jat youth from the same village – who recognised Reshma as a Dalit girl from their village. Was this not a factor in emboldening them to rape, confident of their impunity as members of the dominant community. Their confidence that they could terrorise her into silence, surely arose not only from the gendered and patriarchal notion of ‘shame’ imposed on her, but also on the fact that she was a Dalit who would think many times before daring to take on Jats.
Moreover, the fear and insecurity of the Dalit community following the gang-rape is palpable.
What if it is true that a married man from the backward Chippi community took Reshma along to the deserted spot with her consent? If true, this fact would in no way take away from the horrific crime of gang-rape that was committed by the other men – all Jats.
Hence, the SC/ST Act must be invoked in this case.
 Conflicting Versions?
We hold that there is no substantial conflict in the versions of the incident regarding the actual gang-rape. If (as has been suggested by some) the rape survivor has been reluctant to admit that she voluntarily accompanied a man to the spot, that is all too understandable. She would fear the social consequences of such an admission; the speculations about her morality that would follow; she would fear that her allegations of gang-rape would be questioned; and she might also not want to implicate the man with whom she had been friendly.
Can one blame her? She has seen the ruling party (Congress) spokesperson from her district say that 90% rape cases are consensual. Women in our society are told that if you agree to sex or even friendships with men before or outside marriage, why do you object to rape?
Social inhibitions of the rape survivor regarding admitting to a relationship, must not be made a pretext to undermine the credibility of her allegation of gang-rape.
Pressures on the Survivor?
 We learnt that the rape survivor had named some of the accused in the FIR, but in her statement before a magistrate, she failed to name any of the accused.
There are indications of pressures on the survivor, not only from influential members of the dominant community as well as vested political interests from her own community. Some accounts suggested that the latter too were attempting to make political capital from the incident, while tacitly weakening the case by misguiding the survivor.
Banwasa Case
 Naveena (name changed), a girl belonging to landless ‘Dhanak’ (Dalit Community) was gang raped by four persons on Sep 26, 2012. She was 18 years old and had been married just three months back.
Her father Karmaji is a ‘rajmistri’ with five siblings-3 sisters and 2 brothers. At the time of the incident, she was at her paternal house in Banwasa village of Gohana tehsil of Sonipat district.
The incident
Naveena was alone at her parental home when she received a message from her cousin Rambatheri that her husband is waiting for her at Gohana bus. Rambatheri apparently passed on the message given on phone by Shravan (one of the accused). Naveena’s brother, in the course of the conversation, later said that the call had in fact been made to Naveena’s bhabhi Malti.
Falling in the trap she left for Gohana around 10 am on September 26, not to return for next two days. Her brother Gurmit Singh returned from his school at 2 pm when he found that Sunila was not at home after which he spread the word. The worried family made calls to relatives enquiring about her, including to her husband Sunil, staying at Adiyana village of Panipat district, who said she had not returned to his home.
They were not able to trace Naveena on September 27 and 28, after which they informed the police on September 29. In the meantime, Naveena was abducted in a car in broad daylight from Gohana bus stand by the four accused. They took her to Hartadi in Panipat district where she was gangraped for two days.
The Village Sarpanch who belongs to same community as Naveena assisted the family in tracking her. The police, taking the lead from Shravan’s mobile number, nabbed the culprits on September 29.
Three of the accused belongs to same ‘Dhanak’ community. The fourth accused of Sikandara Manjara village belongs to Brahmin community.
We had gone in the daytime, so Naveena was away working in the fields. We were unable to meet her in spite of our efforts, so many unanswered questions remain about the incident.
 Sachhakheda case
Sharmila, aged 16 years, committed suicide after being raped by Pradeep and Naveen in broad day light on Oct 6, 2012. The accused were assisted in the crime by Manoj, Meenu (Manoj’s wife) and Sanjeev.
The victim as well as the accused belongs to same Balmiki community.
The Incident
While Sharmila was returning home she was dragged into Manoj’s house, near her own house, by one of the accused, Pradeep. While she was being raped Manoj, Meenu and Sanjeev kept guard.
After the incident the girl later went to her uncle house nearby, poured kerosene on her body and immolated herself. On hearing her screams, the neighbours rushed to the spot and informed the police.
She was taken to Narwana Hospital in police van and was referred to Rohtak hospital. Her statement was recorded by the Magistrate only after much persuasion and delay, before she succumbed to her injuries at the emergency ward of the hospital.
One of the accused Manoj is related to the sitting MLA Prithvi Singh of INLD of Narwana constituency. After the initial lapse the police was able to nab all the accused in the next two days. However, Sharmila’s family was apprehensive that Manoj might escape punishment.
The Sarpanch of Saccha Kheda village, Nirmala, was initially reluctant to discuss the case, leaving it to her husband Ram Bhagat to do the talking. Eventually they both adopted the refrain, “The guilty should be punished but the innocent should not face unjust action,” indicating that in their view Manoj and Meenu are being unjustly accused. But they could not explain what motive Sharmila’s family had to level false accusations on anyone. The Sarpanch’s home had several large photographs and displays dedicated to the Chautala family and the INLD.
As per some news reports the accused have also made advances earlier on Sharmila which was duly informed to the police but no action was taken.
General Observations and Conclusions
The spate of rape cases in Haryana is cause enough for concern. The CM, Bhoopinder Hooda, has said there is nothing alarming about these incidents since they are not unique to Haryana. Sonia Gandhi too has said that the Haryana Government cannot be held responsible for the rapes.
However, it is impossible to deny that the Government, as well as the entire ruling establishment including the ruling party and the main Opposition party, are deeply culpable for the rising instances of rapes and other crimes against women.
 Dharmveer Goyat, one of the spokespersons for the ruling Congress, has declared that 90% of rapes are consensual. In other words, most rape complainants are liars, in his view.
Phool Chand Mulana, Chief of Haryana’s ruling party, the Congress, declared that the rapes are a conspiracy against the Government.
Khap panchayat leaders and former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala proposed child marriage as a solution to prevent rape. ‘Child marriage’ – i.e marriage before the age of 16 – is something the khap panchayats have long been demanding. Because marriage in childhood can help achieve their objective of preventing self-choice marriages – that they otherwise seek to achieve through threats of violence and ‘honour’ killings. When Haryana DGP R S Dalal said parents need to keep an eye on the activities of their children, he too is advocating greater surveillance – mainly on the mobility of young girls.
Rape itself is one way of maintaining patriarchal and caste domination through terror. And these reactionary ‘solutions’ for rape only seek to strengthen the patriarchal stranglehold on women.
The fact is that casteist and patriarchal forces are feeling emboldened because they feel that the Haryana Government and the police are with them. The Government and police have time and again protected the perpetrators of ‘honour crimes’ and atrocities against dalits be it at Bhagana, Mirchhpur, or Gohana. And this is undoubtedly a factor in the increasing rapes and other forms of violence on women.
We hear praise from some quarters nowadays for the Haryana Government’s efforts to campaign against sex-selective abortion by roping in the khap panchayats. The khap panchayats have also offered their services in preventing and punishing rape – suggesting that social boycott of rapists would be a deterrent. We believe that such initiatives are dishonest and misleading. Violence against women – be it rape, ‘honour’ crimes or sex-selective abortion – can be resisted and curbed only by measures that safeguard and promote women’s equality and rights and by struggles against patriarchal forces, attitudes, and structures. The solution to crimes against women cannot come from those very patriarchal forces that are the bulwark of sexist and misogynist attitudes.
Rather than claiming to rope in khap panchayats to fight crimes on women, the Haryana Government ought rather to heed the demands of women’s groups, act firmly against the anti-constitutional activities of khap panchayats; and come down hard on any instances of collusion between police forces and khap panchayats or others accused of crimes against women and Dalits.
A doctor, accomplice charge sheeted for gangraping Dalit girl

Muzaffarnagar, February 16, 2013
A doctor and d his accomplice were charge sheeted today for allegedly abducting and raping an 18-year-old Dalit girl, police said.  The doctor, Praveen Kumar Saini, and his friend Deepak Kumar abducted the girl from Haibatpur village under Charthawal police station area when she had stepped out of her home to relieve herself on January 16, police said.
The duo raped her, they said, adding, police today filed charge sheet against the accused. Praveen has already surrendered in court, while the other accused is still absconding, police said.
The victim was medically examined to confirm the rape and her statement has been recorded in court, police said.

Teacher booked for raping a class VIII Dalit student

SANGRUR: Scarring the sacred relationship between a teacher and a student, a government school teacher has been booked for raping a dalit minor girl.

A teacher of mathematics of village Namol, Gurjant Singh has been booked for raping a class VIII student. The agitated villagers have demanded stern action against the teacher, who is presently absconding. The education department has placed the teacher Gurjant Singh under suspension and a charge sheet is being prepared against him.

As the incident came to light on Wednesday, the angry villagers protested at the school and headed towards Sangrur civil hospital to get the girl medically examined. Subsequently a medical board of three doctors conducted the medical examination on Wednesday afternoon.

"The teacher on the pretext of teaching had called the minor girl at his place on December 31 when the school was closed during winter vacations. Alone at his place at that time, the teacher had raped the girl and threatened of her dire consequences if she told anyone about it", told villager Sarabjit Singh. He said the incident came to light when the teacher a couple of days ago again molested the girl in the school and some other students saw the teacher indulging in indecent behavior.

Police on the complaint of the father, a brick kiln labourer has registered a case of rape against the teacher .

District education officer(Secondary), Nirmal Singh Sohi said "as per the directions of director general school education, teacher Gurjant Singh has been suspended and a charge sheet is being prepared against him".

Dalit minor raped, force fed pesticide 


 A 16-year-old dalit girl was abducted, raped and forced to eat some poisonous pesticide by an upper-caste man and dumped outside her house in a village in Faridkot district on Saturday morning.

According to the girl's statement, she was abducted by three men around 11.30pm on Friday night from outside her house when she was going to a relative's place nearby. Police have arrested two men, identified as Jagmeet Singh, the prime accused, and one of his accomplices Jagsir Singh. Search is on to nab Chhaina Singh, the third accused. The girl's mother had approached the Jaito police station and filed a missing person's complaint the same night.

The girl has said that Jagmeet raped her while the other two stood guard outside the room where she was taken. The girl said that she was threatened and forcibly made to eat something that made her unconscious.

She was found lying in front of her house by her parents who immediately rushed her to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and hospital in Faridkot. The hospital staff said that she probably had some pesticide. Police have registered a case of rape, abduction, and wrongful confinement against the three accused.

Pregnant dalit woman gang-raped                                           

 BHOPAL: A pregnant dalit woman was gang-raped by three persons in the old city area. The incident took place on December 4, 2012 but a case in this regard was registered late on Thursday.The 22-year-old victim was returning to her in-laws place when three persons took her to a deserted area near a water tank in Ibrahimganj and raped.Initially, the victim could not muster the courage to reveal it to anyone but when her mother-in-law pressurized, she narrated the incident after which a case was registered with the police.The accused in the case have been identified as Majnu Gupta, Rohit and Phaddu Chouhan.Officials said victim's mother resides in Karond. She along with her mother was going back to her in-laws place when Majnu, who resides in the same locality, told her mother that he would drop the victim to her in-laws place in Ibrahumganj.He took the woman in an ape auto with him and two more persons joined the accused after some distance. The trio took the woman near an overhead water tank and outraged her modesty.The police said Majnu and Rohit took turns to rape the woman while Phaddu was holding her hands so that she could not resist.Victim later went back home and remained quiet for two days. However, when her mother-in-law pressurized her, she revealed the incident.The police confirmed that victim has a kid and is expecting again. Since she is a dalit, the case is being transferred to the AJK police wing, the police added.Senior officials claimed that one of the accused was known to the victim and she had once given an application to police that he tried to exploit her in the past.

7-year jail term to priest for raping girl upheld  

The High Court upheld a seven-year jail term awarded to a priest for raping a 16-year-old girl repeatedly in a temple in Delhi. “The heinous offence was committed by a priest who is respected in the society and considered to be a trustworthy person. But disregarding morality and consequence of his act, he committed such a barbaric offence upon a young girl repeatedly,” Justice ML Mehta said. Justice Mehta upheld the lower court’s conviction of seven years’ rigorous imprisonment to Prem Dass, a priest with Lord Shiva temple in Northwest Delhi who repeatedly raped the school-going girl inside the temple.“In my considered opinion, the prosecution has brought home the guilt of the appellant beyond reasonable doubt,” Mehta.Dass had filed the appeal against the 2010 trial court verdict, saying there were discrepancies and inconsistencies in the statements of the prosecutrix and hence, his conviction was “bad in law”. “Sexual violence, apart from being a dehumanising act, is an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of a female,” the court said, dismissing Dass’ appeal.“It is a serious blow to her honour and offends her self-esteem. It degrades the victim and where the victim is a helpless innocent child or a minor,” it added.      

Dalit woman who came to temple for prayer gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur, 3 arrested

The men held her hostage when she went to relieve herself and beat up her nephew when he tried to rescue her.

lucknowUpdated: May 16, 2018 11:24 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow

Dalit woman,Sitapur gang rape,SC/ST Act
The accused have been charged under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. (AFP File Photo)

A 26-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped by three men after being held hostage near Naimisharanya Dham temple, popularly known as Neemsar, in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district late on Monday night, police have said. 

Police have arrested the three men and charged them with gang rape, voluntarily causing hurt and insulting the woman at Mishrikh police station on Tuesday. They have also been charged under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 

Inspector of Mishrikh police station Ashok Kumar Singh said those arrested have been identified as Ramu, 32, Rameshur Kashyap, 42, and Patru Kashyap, 23.

Singh said the incident took place around 11pm on Monday when the woman came to the temple for a special prayer on the occasion of Amavasya or no moon night with her 19-year-old nephew. 

The men held her hostage when she went to relieve herself and beat up her nephew when he tried to rescue her, he said.

Police rushed to the spot after the woman’s nephew called UP 100, the police emergency response number, and arrested the three men from near the crime scene as they were trying to escape.

Singh said the woman has been sent for medical examination and the accused have been sent to jail after being produced in court on Tuesday. He added the police have collected forensic evidence and further investigation is on.

First Published: May 16, 2018

Sexual Assault, Rape Top Crimes Against Scheduled Castes

* Sexual assaults against women and rape are the top crimes against scheduled castes (SCs).
* Among India’s 29 states, multicultural Goa, ranked 26th by population, has the highest crime rate against SCs.
* In absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh, India’s most-populous state, reported the most crimes against SCs.
These are some of the highlights of crimes against SCs, gleaned from the Crime In India 2014 report, released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
There were 67 crimes against SCs in Goa—the state is 66% Hindu, 25% Christian and 8% Muslim–for every one lakh scheduled caste individuals, the data reveal. Goa is followed by Rajasthan (66) and Andhra Pradesh (49).

Source: Census 2011; National Crime Records Bureau; Note: State of Andhra Pradesh excludes Telangana-Andhra Pradesh Population; *Crimes per one lakh SC individuals; The actual population of SCs per lakh in Goa is 0.25 which is rounded to 0.3 as per NCRB.
The major crime against SCs is assault on women to outrage her modesty (Section 354 IPC).
The section is further classified into sexual harassment (section 354A IPC), assault or use of criminal force with intent to disrobe (section 354B IPC), voyeurism (Section 354C IPC), stalking (Section 354D IPC) and others.
As many as 47,064 crimes against SCs were reported in 2014, according to NCRB, a 44% rise over five years, from 32,712 in 2010 to 47,064 in 2014.

Crimes against Dalits, the lowest among scheduled castes, recently hit the headlines.
A young Dalit writer escaped an attack in Karnataka by a group of men who threatened to chop off his hands for writing against the caste system, perceived by them to be “anti-Hindu”.
In Haryana, upper-caste Rajputs burnt alive two Dalit children as revenge against their father for a murder last October.
Uttar Pradesh (8,075), India’s most populous state, reported the most crimes against SCs, followed by Rajasthan (8,028) Bihar (7,893), Madhya Pradesh (4,151), and Andhra Pradesh (4,114).

Source: Census 2011; National Crime Records Bureau; Note: State of Andhra Pradesh excludes Telangana-Andhra Pradesh Population; *Crimes per one lakh SC individuals
The top five states accounted for 69% all crimes against scheduled castes across India.
The main crimes against scheduled castes include assault on women to “outrage her modesty” (2,742), rape (2,388), grievous hurt (2,267), riots (932) and kidnapping and abduction (884).
Murder is the sixth-most committed crime against SCs with a total of 794 cases reported.

Source: National Crime Records Bureau; Note: Top five crimes include SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Crimes Against SCs (in which SC/ST POA Act not applied) under IPC.


 Miscreants set ablaze five dalit houses in Nawada

Posted on: 15 Oct 2012
Five dalit houses set ablaze in Bihar
Nawada: The miscreants on Sunday set on fire five dalit houses in Pipra village in Bihar's Nawada district, police sources said.
The miscreants torched the five dalit houses after the family members refused to pay them extortion money, the sources said. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Akhtar Sahriyar rushed to the village with police force to probe the matter, they said.
The aggrieved dalit families have lodged a FIR against eight persons for torching their houses, the sources said, adding all accused persons were absconding.

Dalit woman gangraped in MP; seven 


Shajapur (MP): 
A Dalit woman was allegedly gangraped multiple times over a period of four months at Khargone Kala village here by seven persons, police said on Monday. 

The 22-year-old victim was kidnapped in May this year when she was going to her in-law's place at Jamania Gade by Raees Khan, Imran, Khalil and Annu, who confined her in a room in the village, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bhagwant Singh Girde told reporters. 

They along with three others identified as Gaffar, Javed and Younus allegedly gangraped the woman since then, police said.

The victim somehow managed to escape from their captivity and reached Kalapipal Police Station yesterday and registered an FIR with the police following which the accused were booked, the ASP said. 

A search is on to nab the culprits, police added. 


Pregnant Dalit woman raped in Haryana


19-year-old  pregnant Dalit woman was allegedly abducted and gang-raped by two upper-caste youth in Kalayat town in Kaithal district.  The accused, Rakesh and Pawan, were arrested on Wednesday after a case of rape was registered against them on the basis of statement made by the 19-year-old victim on Tuesday, SP (Kaithal) Kuldeep Singh Yadav said.

“The girl was medically examined and the possibility of sexual assault cannot be ruled out. It was revealed that she was five months pregnant,” the SP said.

“Her family said she was married and was staying with them for the past few days,” Mr. Yadav said. It was found that the girl had called one of the rapists in the early hours after which the two met, he said. “The girl and the two arrested youths knew each other well,” he said.

The victim had made the statement before the magistrate and levelled charges of rape against the accused. 

India- Dalit woman gang-raped at gunpoint

witten by Kamyani Bali Mahabal.

TNN and NDTV | Sep 27, 2012,
PILLU KHERA (JIND): Haryana is rapidly climbing up the gender crime graph in India. A week after the rape of a dalit schoolgirl rocked Hisar, another case of gangrape came to light on Wednesday - a 30 yeard old Dalit woman and mother of six year old girl has been gang-raped in her home at gunpoint. The attack in the Jind district was also filmed on a phone camera and the MMS was circulated in her village.
The police said that two of the three alleged rapists have been arrested.. In the earlier case of gangrape of a 16-year-old girl in Hisar’s Dabra village, after which the victim’s father committed suicide, the main accused are yet to be nabbed. The Jind rape caught media attention on Wednesday after a few villagers protested against police inaction and approached the SSP.
According to police, the woman in Jind, originally a resident of Dharoli village, was gang-raped around noon when she was alone at her house. Her daughter returned from school and found the house bolted from inside and heard her mother cry. She peeped inside and saw her mother surrounded by the three men. Neighbours were alerted when the girl started screaming for help but the assailants escaped. The neighbours simply went back and didn’t call the cops.
Pillu Khera police said the victim came to the station that evening accompanied by her husband, a mason and gave a statement, naming two of the three youths as sons of Azad Singh, an upper caste man, and Mahavir Singh, a dalit from Dharoli. Head constable Mahender Singh said a case was registered under Section 376 (rape) of IPC and a manhunt has been launched.
Jind SSP Saurabh Singh said one of the accused Suraj Kumar, son of Mahavir Singh and Sandeep’s father Azad Singh were arrested on Wednesday. Azad has been accused of sheltering his son, who is absconding.
Regarding the MMS clip made by the accused, the SSP said, “As of now, the police do not have any material evidence. Still, we are invest-igating and if we get any proof, we will slap charges.” He said the victim’s family has also sought police protection on Wednesday.Seven more arrested for Hisar gangrape.
Meanwhile, Haryana police on Wednesday arrested seven people in connection with a 16-year-old dalit girl’s gangrape in Hisar district‘s Dabra village on September 9. But the main accused, Mahender, who is said to wield political clout in the region, remains on the run.
Police said the seven were arrested from Almora of Uttarakhand. “Nine accused in the case have been arrested now. Two of them were nabbed two days back. Rest of the accused will be arrested soon,” said DGP Ranjiv Singh Dalal. He said that the Hisar superintendent of police had been directed to approach the district and sessions judge with a request to set up a fast track court to hear the case.

Two teachers arrested for raping minor Dalit girl

Muzzafarnagar: Two schools teachers have been arrested for allegedly raping a minor Dalit school girl in Nona village, police said on Sunday.

The victim, a Class X student, was yesterday raped by her teachers Sanjiv and Sudhir Kumar at a school here and was threatened by them, they said. 

- The girl's parents lodged a complaint with the police yesterday, they said, adding that security in the village has been tightened as the two men belong to the dominant Jat community whereas the victim is a Dalit. 
The girl has been sent for medical examination, they said. 
After raping three men repeatedly stabbed

Basti, Uttar Pradesh:

 In another setback for the Mayawati government, and adding to the long list of rape cases, a Dalit woman was raped and stabbed barely 50 metres from the DIG's residence in the Basti area of Uttar Pradesh. 

After raping her, the three men repeatedly stabbed her on the terrace of a government quarter in the district. One of the main accused Ajay Chaudhary is the driver of a senior government officer, who stays in one of the quarters.

The woman is critical, and is being treated in the district hospital. Police have lodged a case of rape. 
"Poonam mentioned that somebody misbehaved with her. There are a few blade marks also on her. A case of rape has been registered and we have constituted teams to look for the accused," said Rajesh Modak, SP, Basti.

Rape In Tamilnadu

Rape is a common phenomenon in rural areas.  Women are raped as part of caste custom or village tradition.  According to Dalit activists,  Dalit girls have been forced to have sex with the village landlord.  In rural areas, "women are induced into prostitution (Devadasi system)..., which [is] forced on them in the name of religion."  The prevalence of rape in villages contributes to the greater incidence of child marriage in those areas.  Early marriage between the ages of ten years and sixteen years persists in large part because of Dalit girls' vulnerability to sexual assault by upper-caste men;  once a girl is raped, she becomes unmarriageable.   An early marriage also gives parents greater control over the caste into which their children are married. 

Dalit women are also raped as a form of retaliation.  Women of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are raped as part of an effort by upper-caste leaders to suppress movements to demand payment of minimum wages, to settle sharecropping disputes, or to reclaim lost land.  They are raped by members of the upper caste, by landlords, and by the police in pursuit of their male relatives.   

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, upper-caste leaders deny the prevalence of sexual abuse against Dalit women.  A prominent leader of the Thevar community in Tamil Nadu, who wished to remain anonymous, vehemently denounced the assertion that sexual relations between Dalit laborers and their landowning employers were nonconsensual.  The very practice of "untouchability," he explained, was until recently looked upon favorably by Dalits.  He added that in the present day, the practice has almost completely disappeared.  In an interview with Human Rights Watch, he claimed:

Pardhi case: 65, including Congress MLA arrested

By Agencies on October 9, 2012

Congress MLA Sukhdev Panse and about 64 others were arrested in Betul in connection with the 2007 Pardhi case that is being probed by the CBI, police said on Tuesday.

Panse along with 64 others surrendered at the Multai police station here yesterday and police arrested them, following issuance of an arrest warrant against them by a special CBI court.

The arrested persons were taken to Jabalpur where they would be produced before the court on Tuesday.

In September 2007, a woman belonging to Kunbi community was allegedly gangraped and murdered by some Pardhi tribals.

Following the incident, a large number of people, including MLA Panse, allegedly attacked and set afire the houses of Pardhi tribals in Chouthia Dhana village. Two tribals were allegedly killed in the attack.

A case was registered against unidentified persons by the local police at that time.

Later, social activist Anurag Modi had filed a complaint in the High Court.

In 2009, the High Court had ordered a CBI probe in the case after which the premier investigation agency registered an FIR under various sections of the IPC, identified the accused persons, including the elected representatives, and submitted its report in the special court.

The court then issued an arrest warrant against them and yesterday 65 persons, including the MLA, were arrested.

Six persons were arrested by the police in this regard about two months back while some others are yet to be nabbed, police said.

Failure to Prosecute Rape Cases

Beginning with the lodging of the First Information Report (FIR) at the local police station through to the judge's opinion, should a case reach that far, women in India are faced with daunting obstacles in prosecuting cases of rape.  If a woman is poor, belongs to a lower caste, and lives in a rural area, it is even more difficult for her to gain access to the justice system.  Those who are able to pursue cases of sexual assault have to battle entrenched biases at every stage of the process: with the police, the doctors, the judges, and even their own families.

Even if the police agree to file the FIR, they often fail to efficiently and deliberately collect the necessary evidence.  Witnesses, should they exist, rarely agree to come forward to testify or corroborate the victim's statement for fear of retribution from the perpetrators, who are often in positions of relative power in the community.  If the case manages to get filed and investigated despite these obstacles, then new problems arise when the woman goes before a judge whose gender biases and caste affiliations can greatly influence the judgment in the case.

For the reasons outlined above, and because of low reporting, conviction in rape cases is uncommon.  From 1989 to 1993, reported crimes against women in India increased by 25.2 percent.  At the same time, the National Crime Records Bureau's 1994 report revealed that convictions for crimes against women were minimal.

Out of the total (rape) cases in which trials were completed, 41.5 percent ended in conviction during 1990, 34.2 percent in 1991 and 33.8 percent in 1992 and 30.3 percent in 1993.  Thus the acquittal percentage is showing an upward trend over the years.  The rate of disposal of cases in courts was 23.9 percent in 1992 and 16.8 percent in 1993.  On an average, 80 percent of the cases remained pending for trial.  This is a disquieting status

The average conviction rate for rape has also been consistently lower than the less serious crimes of burglary and theft.  

In addition to compiling testimony on cases of rape by the police and during caste clashes, Human Rights Watch also interviewed several victims of rape on their experience with the legal system.  Two illustrative cases are outlined below.  Also included is the well-known case of Bhanwari Devi-whose rapists were acquitted on a judge's reasoning that "an upper-caste man could not have defiled himself by raping a lower-caste woman."-and other cases illustrating gender bias at the trial level. 

M. Meena

M. Meena is a twelve-year-old Dalit girl; her name has been changed to protect her identity.  She was raped in September 1997 by a twenty-one-year-old Thevar man in a southern district of Tamil Nadu.Successful prosecution of her case was thwarted when the accused paid bribes to the police.  Because of Meena's young age, Human Rights Watch obtained details of her rape and subsequent experience with the police largely from interviewing a social worker who had been active in her case; we then met with Meena to confirm the reports.  The social worker described the incident:
On her way home from a local store, a Thevar boy named Karuppaswami called Meena over on the pretext that she would help him pick something up.  She refused and kept going.  He then showed her a bill hook and threatened her  He pulled her to a nearby tree, undressed her, and raped her.  She was unconscious and could not walk.  Some people took her home and called the Manur police station.  The police said to come and file a report.  So they took her there and gave a complaint.  The Thevar people also went to the police station and gave Rs. 10,000 (US$250) to the police and threatened the girl's father not to divulge the facts or the family would face dire consequences.  
As a result of pressure from the rapist's family, the police filed a case under Section 75 of the Madras City Police Act-instead of sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code for rape and punishment for rape.  Section 75 of the Police Act refers to creating a nuisance in a public place and carries a fine as its punishment.  With the help of the social worker, Meena's parents again approached the police to file a rape case. 

The next day I went to the village and saw the girl. She was in bad condition.  She had a fever, and she was unconscious.  I talked to the parents and said, "Let's go to the police and government hospital."  We took the girl to the superintendent of police's (SP) office.  We only saw him at 5:00 p.m.  Then the SP said that he will call the police to file a case and asked us to take the girl to a government hospital at High Ground Paliangotti.  I was with them the whole time.  The doctors refused to do a check-up without an FIR.  We then took her in a van and came back to the police station.  There was no inspector there.  The police refused to register an FIR.  At 11:00 p.m. the inspector came and registered an FIR.  He then sent the police constable with us to the hospital.  At 12:30 a.m. we reached the hospital.  They did the check-up.  At 10:00 a.m. the next morning we took her to court.  The magistrate asked to admit her in the hospital. She was there for ten days.  The police collected her panties.  There were blood stains on it.  She recovered and went back to school

After much persistence, Meena's parents were finally able to register a case of rape under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.  However, the police refused to simultaneously register the case under the Atrocities Act.  The accused spent forty-five days in jail and was subsequently released on bail.  In December 1997, soon after his release, he physically assaulted the husband of the social worker who had been helping Meena with her case.  According to the social worker, "The rapist and his relatives blocked and damaged my husband's vehicle with their van and beat him.  We went back and beat one of those boys, and they filed a case against us.  But we also filed a case in a different police station."  As of December 1998 no charges had been filed in the rape case, and the accused remained out on bail.

R. Chitra

In 1996, twenty-six-year-old R. Chitra (also an alias) of Kammapatti village, Tirunelveli district, southern Tamil Nadu, was gang raped by Thevars from a neighboring village.  After much public pressure from residents of her village, the police took up the case, but despite her positive identification of the rapists, and despite many eyewitnesses to the event, they ultimately dropped the investigation.  Chitra told Human Rights Watch of her experience with the Thevars:
It happened one and a half years ago.  Another girl named Savariammal and I went to the forest for grass for our goats.  There is a dilapidated building in the forest.  Behind that building, four persons hid themselves...  The four people came out and said "Where are you coming from?"  I said I am from Kammapatti.  They asked my village name, so they knew I was a Dalit.  They left and went five steps ahead.  When they passed, me and my friend started gathering our goats and prepared to leave.  The men were holding bill hooks in their hands, and we knew it was not a safe place to be.  All of a  sudden, one man turned around and grabbed my hand. I tried to resist them for two hours.  Among the four, one hid and the remaining three boys took turns.  They had weapons, I only had a stick.  They then took away my stick so I had no defense...  Some other people from that village saw the struggle but did not come close, because the men had weapons.  Three men raped me.  It lasted for an hour.  There was no bleeding, but there were bruises all over.  When one committed penetration, the other two stood by and watched.  In turn they all raped me.  The fourth one was hiding and saw the whole thing.  I had bruises all over, on my chest, my hip.  My skin was torn and full of nail marks.  I was hurt because I was trying to escape.
After a failed attempt to commit suicide by pouring kerosene on her body and setting herself on fire, Chitra was convinced by her family to go to the police.  She did not know her rapists but recognized that they were Thevars from a neighboring village.  She was also able to provide the police with details on their clothing, their appearance, and their age:  "I gave an oral complain, and the constable reduced it to writing.  That was the only time they were sympathetic."  The day of her suicide attempt, Chitra visited the Tirunelveli government hospital, where four female doctors examined her and collected specimens.  She also handed over to police the clothes she had been wearing when raped.  Despite the strength of the evidence, the police told her brothers to persuade her not to register a complaint.  But her brothers were persistent, and most of the residents of her Dalit-dominant village insisted that the police arrest the accused.  They argued that if "anything was committed by Dalits, the police do not allow it, so why are they allowing this?" The day after the rape, the police  arrested two persons and presented them for identification.  The following day Chitra's brother complained to the deputy superintendent of police that the two remaining accused had not been arrested.  After the police took the mothers of the two absconding men to the police station, they too surrendered.

So I identified all four.  The sub-inspector recorded my statement.  The police also talked to Savariammal, the girl who was with me.  She said she saw it happen but did not know the identity of the people.  But she must have known.  She simply kept away from saying the truth.  She was probably threatened.  All surrounding villages belong to Thevars.  The police arrested and remanded them to Koilpatti jail.  I went for the line-up in

front of the magistrate.  They put eighteen persons in a row.  They put the four among them.  Even then I identified them.

After many promises of state compensation for Chitra, the money never came.  Despite initial cooperation from the police, the case never went to trial.  Chitra was not even informed if the culprits were arrested after she identified them:  "I don't know how many days they were in jail.  I haven't been contacted again by the police."  She was denied access to her own medical records. "The doctors said they have to give them to police and they will send them to court."  For social and monetary reasons, Chitra's family has been unwilling and unable to pursue the case.  "My family is afraid to proceed because of their reputation," she explained.  "The FIR should be there.  I was never invited to court to depose, so I think the trial was not held.  I didn't go again...  We don't have money for an advocate, and we cannot travel frequently to court.  Even if I decide to pursue I have to get permission from my mother and brothers."

Caste and Gender Bias in the Courts

The lack of law enforcement leaves many Dalit women unable to approach the legal system to seek redress.  Women are often also unaware of the laws; their ignorance is exploited by their opponents, by the police, and, as illustrated by the cases below, by the judiciary.   Even when cases are registered, the lack of appropriate investigation, or the judge's own caste and gender biases, can lead to acquittal, regardless of the availability of evidence or witnesses.  The failure to successfully prosecute cases of rape also allows for crimes against women to continue unabated, and in the caste context, encourages the use of rape as a tool to punish and silence Dalit communities.

Bhanwari Devi

Bhanwari Devi's case is a typical example of the influence of caste bias on the justice system and the inability of lower-caste women to obtain redress.  It is also a striking example of rape as a weapon of retaliation used to punish and silence women's rights advocates.  The nature of the district judge's opinion sounded many alarms, and the case itself was taken up by several women's rights organizations in north India.

Bhanwari Devi joined the Rajasthan Government's Women's Development Programme (WDP), called Sathin, in 1985 as a grassroots worker.  In April 1992 she reported the child marriage of the one-year-old daughter of Ram Karan Gurjar to WDP authorities.  The police came to the village and tried to stop the marriage, but the family proceeded with the ceremony in secret.  On September 22, 1992, in the presence of her husband, Bhanwari was gang raped by members of the Gurjar family in retaliation for her intervention in the child marriage.  Upon approaching the police, Bhanwari was told, however, that she was too old and unattractive to merit the attentions of young men. 

The trial judge acquitted the accused on the reasoning that "rape is usually committed by teenagers, and since the accused are middle-aged and therefore respectable, they could not have committed the crime.  An upper-caste man could not have defiled himself by raping a lower-caste woman."  Those accused of raping Bhanwari also enjoyed political support.  BJP leader Kanhaiya Lal Meena reportedly organized a rally in support of the accused.  As of February 1999, Bhanwari was still in court appealing the acquittal. 

Bhanwari's case, and in particular the manner in which it was handled by the police and the courts, is not an isolated incident.  Cases at all levels have the potential to be influenced by the judge's personal perceptions of caste and gender that are brought to bear in determining the credibility of evidence or the likelihood of guilt.  The case material that follows, though not specific to the report, is intended to illustrate the atmosphere of prejudice that Dalit women face-both as Dalits and as women.  These biases are pervasive all the way to the top of the legal system.  The few cases that manage to reach the Supreme Court still do not escape these deep-seated prejudices.  

Shri Satish Mehra v. Delhi Administration and Another

Gender bias that blames women for the actions of men also persists at the Supreme Court level.  In Shri Satish Mehra v. Delhi Administration and Another, a July 1996 case of the rape of a three-year-old girl by her father, the Supreme Court concluded that there lacked sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and pointed to the "seemingly incredulous nature of the accusations against a father that molested his infant child."  The court instead accused the mother of leveling false accusations to take revenge on her husband for an unhappy marriage.

The opinion added that the judge presiding over the case prior to the Supreme Court appeal ought not to have overlooked the peculiar circumstances of the case, including the fact that the accused's wife found their marital life to be "extremely painful and unhappy from the very inception" and that she had accused him of being an alcoholic and prone to inflicting severe physical violence.  Based on these circumstances, the Supreme Court concluded that the wife's "attitude to the petitioner, even de hors the allegation involving the child, was vengeful."  As in the Bhanwari Devi case, despite the legal basis it claimed for the decision, the court only briefly touched on evidentiary matters and seemed instead to be motivated by its professed disbelief that such crimes could actually take place. 

Higher-caste police already have a biased mind.  They assume that complaints of [Dalits] are made up or bogus.  It is with this mentality that they investigate.  Any person who has already presumed something as wrong will ultimately prove the case wrong to prove him or herself right.

Suman Rani (Prem Chand and Another v. State of Haryana)

As  Dalit women are frequent victims of custodial rape.  Section 376(2) of the Indian Penal Code mandates minimum sentences for state agents who rape women in their custody.  Other loopholes in the law, however, allow the judiciary to sidestep mandatory sentencing.  In the famous Suman Rani custodial rape case, the Supreme Court refused to apply the minimum ten-year sentence to the police officers charged because of the victim's "questionable character."  The court's opinion quoted a medical officer who testified that the "victim girl [was] used to frequent intercourse and parturition and there was no mark of violence of sexual assault on any part of her body."  The opinion further added:
[T]he victim Suman Rani was a woman of questionable character and easy virtue with lewd and lascivious behavior and that the very fact that this girl had not complained of the alleged rape said to have been committed at [the]  police station by these two appellants to anyone till [five days after the incident] shows that the present version is not worthy of acceptance.
The court ultimately held that the peculiar facts of the case, coupled with the conduct of the victim, did not warrant the imposition of the minimum ten-year sentence.  The court instead invoked the proviso to Section 376(2), which allows for the judge to use his discretion in reducing the minimum sentence, and cut the sentence in half.  

Hindustan Times
Obra villa

Dalit woman raped by Haryana MLA kin
ge, Bhiwani, October 29, 2012

For almost  four months Rajinder, nephew of INLD legislator Dharam Pal Obra, known as Master in Obra village, had been raping Krishna, wife of Ram Phal, a dalit, and daily wage earner.

Ram Phal told HT on Monday that Rajinder had been blackmailing his wife with an MMS and also
threatened her not disclose the rape to any one or else he would kill her husband.

He said, "When Rajinder's advances became unbearable for my wife she disclosed to me on February 21, 2012. First time she was raped on October 27, 2011. During this period I had been away to Rajasthan to earn bread for the family. My mother Manbhari and brother Ram Kishan are farm labourers and my father Ghadsi Ram had expired in 1992. My wife is handicapped and remains at home."

"Rajinder used to come to visit my brother, who lives in the adjoining house. On October 27, 2011 he entered our house and raped my wife at about 10 am," said Ram Phal.

He said, "After I came to know about the rape from my wife we went to complain about the whole issue to Master Dharam Pal Obra, uncle of Rajinder, and instead of giving us justice he abused and beat both of us. Ultimately I filed complaint with the police on May 27 and sent my application to National Women Commission also."

"When the Commission sought details of the case from the police we were again called by the legislator and he threatened us with dire consequences on July 14, 2012. A DSP who had come with our representation got some papers signed by us and left."

"Since then we have been getting threats from them. Last week we went to Hisar and met IG police who provided us police protection. We want arrest of the accused.  I am without work and depending on my brother for subsistence of my three children and wife," said Ram Phal.

When contacted by HT, IG Police AS Chawla said, "SP Bhiwani has recommended that the case be handed over to the crime branch for investigation because the incident occurred last year. The next action will be taken after getting the report from the crime branch. We want a fair probe into the case because earlier once the victim had changed her statement before a lady lawyer. The police want to know the actual facts of the case."

SHO Ashok Kumar disclosed that since the victim is a married woman and mother of three children the medical examination could not support the charge of rape at this stage. No arrest has been made in this case.

When contacted by HT, Dharam Pal Obra, INLD legislator, said, "First of all Rajinder is not my nephew as such. He is grandson of my first cousin.  The charges are fabricated. I welcome an open inquiry in the village where people of all castes and communities be called. If proved guilty I am ready to face any charge.  There is some conspiracy against us."

Constable accused of raping Dalit woman in Rajasthan
Jaipur | January 31, 2006 7:39:33 PM IST
A woman from Bhilwara district of Rajasthan has accused a Rajasthan police constable of rape, threatening and forced abortion.

The dalit victim who is a first year under-graduation student told reporters that the accused Motiram Chaudhary was her fiance for the past six months. However, the accused llegedly coaxed her into having an illicit relationship on the plea of marrying her, but later refused to tie the knot after she was forced to abort his child.

She further accused the woman in-charge of the Kotwali police station of forcing her for bortion by paying her Rs 4,000 and threatening to implicate her in criminal cases. Motiram who is married to another woman, has been suspended and a case of rape under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Additional Superintendent of Police Om Prakash said, ''A case has been registered on a complaint of the victim and a police team has been rushed to Bharatpur, the native place of the accused to trace him.'' The in-charge of the police station is on leave.

17-year-old alleges rape by 14 cops
Pune, September 06,  2008:
Men in uniform came in groups of four, raped me till morning, says her complaint; crime branch to probe A 17-year-old girl from Hyderabad, who was rescued from a brothel in Budhwar Peth in 2006 has alleged that as many as 14 city police personnel had raped her at a lodge in Nana Peth in February 2005.

Rape 'victim' killed by accused

Faiz Rahman Siddiqui
TNN Dec 16, 2012, 02.01AM IST
KANPUR: A minor girl, who had accused a local goon of raping her, was strangled to death by the hoodlum in full public view in a Fatehpur village after she refused to withdraw the complaint against him.

The incident took place in Sidhaav village in bordering Fatehpur on Saturday morning when the accused, Narvada Nishad, barged into the house of the 16-year-old girl, Radha Sonker (name changed) and after beating her brutally, strangled the hapless girl to death even as the villagers looked on.

The killer managed to escape unchallenged.The villagers later informed the Bahua outpost police about the incident who reached the village and sent the body for postmortem.

The girl was allegedly raped by the accused in December last. Subsequently, the girl's father had lodged a case in this regard with the district's Lalauli police station alleging that Narvada Nishad had raped his daughter. The matter was sub-judice.

Village sources said about a week ago, the accused had threatened the victim and her family members of dire consequences and pressurized them to withdraw the complaint, but they refused to do so. Moreover, the statement of the rape victim was recorded before a magistrate three days ago.

Police claimed that angered over this, Narvada Nishad barged into the girl's house when her parents were away at work. Radha, who was sitting near the main entrance of her house, tried to run inside but the accused pounced upon her and dragged her outside the house.

After brutally assaulting her, he strangled her to death in full public view and escaped.

The rape victim's kin said they had informed the police about the regular "threats" from the accused but they failed to take any action.

Police said a search has been launched for the absconding accused.

Deputy superintendent of police Santosh Kumar Singh said: "A case has been registered under relevant sections of the IPC. We are on the lookout for the accused and will nab him soon." However, he had no reply when asked why the police didn't take any action on the girl's complaint.

Tension prevailed in Sidhaav village over the murder of rape victim. "Additional police personnel have been deployed at the village as precautionary measure," informed another senior police official.

Minor raped, one arrested

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 27(The Tribune)

A minor Dalit girl of Nalina Khurd village was allegedly raped by two men of the same village when she was alone at her house, the police said.

The police has registered a rape case against both the accused. One of the accused has been arrested while the other is still at large.

Fatehgarh Sahib SSP HS Mann said a minor girl from Nalina Khurd had lodged an FIR alleging that on January 21 Najam Ali, alias Raju, and Jasbir Singh Bunty, both in their twenties, scaled the wall of her house and raped her. After committing the crime, they threatened to kill her if she revealed the incident, he said.

The girl narrated the incident to her parents when they returned home. Rape has been confirmed during a medical checkup. The police has arrested Najam Ali whereas the second accused Jasbir Singh is absconding. — OC

Challenging India’s rape culture

The Hindu
Let us talk about Ram Singh, the chief rapist of the Delhi gang-rape victim, who told his rape-colleagues, as they cleaned the bus, “not to worry, nothing will happen.’

Ram Singh and his five fellow rapists were right. After all, the conviction rate for rape cases in India, between 2001 and 2010, is only 26 per cent. And in Delhi, in the same period, only one in four culprits of reported rape was punished, reveals a survey by Thomson Reuters' Trust Law Women.

In the case of Muslim and Dalit women, the rate of conviction is almost nil. Three Dalit women are raped daily in some part of our country. When Bhanwari Devi was raped in a Rajasthan village, the judge asked, “How can a Dalit woman be raped?” Most women say they wouldn’t even think of telling the police about an attack for fear the cops would ignore them or worse blame them and abuse them.

This culture of impunity certainly emboldened Ram Singh but the more important question is, what motivated him? It is no coincidence that the family names of the rapists are Singh, Sharma, Gupta and Thakur - all upper caste men whose sense of traditional entitlement based on their caste may have been challenged in the big city of Delhi. Were Ram Singh and his rape cohort simply claiming masculinity as promoted by their role models in politics, business and the media?

Certainly, political leaders of all hues, in their personal lives, have commodified women, both inside and outside the home. Outside the home, BJP MLAs are caught watching pornography on their I-pads in the Legislative Assembly, Janata Dal Leaders have paid women to perform ‘item’ numbers in mass functions and Former Prime Minister P. V Narsimha Rao writes in his biography, The Insider, how Congress leaders bought women for sex while attending Congress Working Committee sessions.

Business leaders are seen with paid escorts, hosting rave parties, consuming porn, and saving their sons from the consequences of molesting girls. In the culture of “success” that Ram Singh witnesses on the media everyday, he sees classified advertisement in newspapers selling female escorts, businessmen zipping around in fast cars with girls draped on their arms staring out with vacant eyes and at least one private airline owner using the ‘casting couch’ to hire 60 airhostesses for four planes.

While Ram Singh cannot afford fast cars and the accompanying female escorts, he can certainly buy porn CDs. India has become the third largest user of pornography in the world. Blue movies and CDs are available at any video parlour.

I would be curious to know if Ram Singh was socialized into believing that sex was connected to violence through countless hours of watching porn? I wonder if the police will ask this question during their investigation? Or have they normalized the degradation of women, so much, that they will not explore the root causes of the rape.

In the course of my own work I have seen the steady creeping in of a rape culture into the fabric of India. I work to organize women in prostitution to resist their own and their daughter’s rape. We have been campaigning to change the anti-trafficking law to punish customers and pimps and the biggest challenge I face is the normalization of the rape of poor women in our culture. Their prostitution is considered inevitable and the men who buy them are considered natural. Politicians, senior police officials, heads of foundations and even policy makers, have told me: “Men will be men,” or “Girls from good families will be raped, if prostitutes don’t exist”.

These comments perpetuate a notion of masculinity in which men have unbridled sexual desire, will rape women if they are not obtainable otherwise, and that poor women should be sexually available to protect middle-class women!

This is how rape cultures are created. Those in positions of power who serve as role models for the rest of society do not challenge prevalent norms, attitudes and practices that trivialize, normalize, tolerate, or even condone rape. In fact many actually, perpetuate the inevitability of male female inequality.

Incidents of rape have gone up by 873 per cent since India gained Independence.

Budget allocations to successive Ministries of Women and Child Welfare have been reduced. Someone of Cabinet rank has hardly ever represented the ministry and the weakest, most inarticulate individuals have been appointed as Ministers of State. Debates to ensure equal power sharing between the sexes through the Women’s Reservation Bill have gone nowhere.

People are asking for fast tracks courts for speedy justice, the death penalty, the immediate passage of the Sexual Harassment in the Work Place Bill, and chemical castration of not just the perpetrators but also all rapists. My question is who and how many people will we castrate? And will it reverse the rape culture based on sex inequality in India? Rape is after all not about sex but about domination and violence.

Won’t castration or death penalty let those off the hook who are creating this culture? When can we force the government to increase budget allocations for women and girls, have better leaders representing the Women and Child Welfare Ministry and introduce power sharing for women at all levels of policy making?

An essential part of efforts to create a contemporary and democratic society where full gender equality is the norm is to recognize the right to equal participation of women and men, girls and boys, in all areas of society. Any society that claims to defend principles of legal, political, economic, and social equality for women and girls must reject the idea that women and children, mostly girls, are commodities inside or outside the home, upper or lower class or caste.

We need to make efforts to create a society where women and girls can live lives free of all forms of male violence. In combination with public education, awareness-raising campaigns, and victim support, the law and other legislation needs to establish a zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and violence against women. The law needs to recognize that without men’s demand for and use of women and girls for sexual exploitation, the rape culture would not be able flourish and expand. For example, a good response would be to require every registered business, which requires a license to operate, to subject all employees to a sensitization on zero tolerance of sexual violence in and out of the work place. License renewal could be made dependent on the business submitting certificates to show that their employees have undergone Zero Tolerance of Sexual Violence training.

On a structural level, India needs to recognize that, to succeed in the campaign against sexual exploitation, the political, social, and economic conditions under which women and girls live must be ameliorated by introducing development measures for poverty reduction, sustainable development, and social programs focusing specifically on women among others.

The work to end rape requires a broad perspective and a will to act in a wide range of policy areas. It also requires the involvement and collaboration of a broad variety of public and private actors, besides an overhaul of measures to combat all sexual violence within the justice system. More important, measures that concern protection of and assistance to victims need to be developed and implemented and men, addicted to sexual violence and domination of women, need to be rehabilitated.

Ruchira Gupta is founder, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an organization working to end sex-trafficking

Dalit minor raped in Bhiwani 

Tribune News Service

Bhiwani, April 7

A Dalit minor girl (15) was raped by a man at Badrai village in Bhiwani. The girl had gone out of her house to answer the call of nature on the April 3 night, when Zile Singh (31) allegedly gagged her and took her away to some secluded place in his car. The accused raped the girl there and then left the victim in the village next morning. The hapless girl narrated the incident to her family, who decided to approach the police.

However, the village panchayat intervened and pressurised the family to settle the matter. A panchayat of elders was called where the accused was made to apologise for his act and the victim’s father was told to forgive the accused and forget the episode.

However, the persecution of the family continued and finally, they approached the police with a complaint today. Ramesh Kumar Alawadhi, SHO of the Badhra police station in Bhiwani, said the accused had been booked and arrested. He said the police acted swiftly after getting the complaint and recorded the girl’s statement in the presence of a woman advocate. The girl’s medical examination had confirmed rape.

The four  persons attempt to murder 17-year-old girl

A 17-year-old Dalit girl survived a murderous attack after sexual assault, allegedly by four persons, who posed as plainclothes policemen at Singarakonda under Addanki police station limits in Prakasam district in the wee hours of Thursday.
Two of the accused were nabbed. Based on the information given by them, their associates were held later in the day, Superintendent of Police K. Raghuram Reddy said. The four followed the girl and her male relative after noticing that they were moving away from the crowd of devotees towards a hillock. Posing as plainclothesmen, they persistently questioned the two, including about their caste, and intimidated them. They then took the girl to a secluded place near a Gurukula Patasala and committed the offence, Dr. Reddy said.
They tried to strangle her, but fled after some devotees raised an alarm and alerted two police constables, he said.
Based on the complaint lodged by the girl and her relative, the four accused were booked for gang—rape under Section 376 of the IPC and under relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention) of Atrocities Act.

Minor dalit girl gang-raped

TNN Apr 5, 2013, 10.59PM IST
VARANASI: A minor girl from dalit community was allegedly gang-raped by three teen aged boys at Mahjooda village under Suriyawan police station in Bhadohi district on Thursday evening.
The police, however, denied gang rape and said that the girl was raped by a boy of the same community while two others were also present at that time.
All the three were arrested ..According to reports, the 16-year-old girl had to gone to field on Thursday evening when three boys Jogi Chamar (18), Sarvjit Chamar (17) and Chandra Srivastava (18) dragged her away to a lonely place and raped her. After returning home girl narrated her agony to family members.
The Bhadohi SP Ashok Kumar Shukla, when contacted over phone, told TOI that Jogi Chamar, who raped the girl, is the main accused, while two others helped him to overpower the girl. The matter is being investigated, he said.

UP police put 10-year-old rape victim behind bars

Bulandshahr: The callous response of police came to fore when a 10-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped, was put behind bars by women cops after she approached them to file a complaint along with her mother. 

Two women constables have been suspended while two sub-Inspectors including the station-in-charge have been sent to police lines following the incident, SSP Gulab Singh said. The victim spent several hours behind the bars after her mother brought her to a women's police station to lodge a complaint against a local goon for allegedly raping her. She was rescued only after locals protested over the matter. 

According to Singh, the minor from Meerpur village here was found lying unconscious in a field by her parents last night where she had been dumped after being allegedly raped. 

An FIR was lodged with the police by victims' parents but shockingly the staff of the women's police station detained the victim in lock-up. 

The girl's medical examination will be conducted to confirm rape and investigations are on, Singh said. 

The local goon accused of raping the minor is absconding, he added. 

Dalit girl raped in Odisha, four held

IANS Apr 12, 2013, 11.04AM ISTBHUBANESWAR: Four men were arrested in Odisha's Jajpur district for the rape of a 15-year-old Dalit girl two days ago, police said on Friday.
The victim is a resident of Pahanga village, over 100 km from Bhubaneswar.
The incident occurred when she had gone to a nearby area to attend the call of nature Wednesday night, the inspector in charge of the local police station, Ashwini Sahu, told IANS.
The men dragged her to a secluded place and one of them raped her while the others watched, he said.
Police arrested all four men, including the main offender, a day later on the basis of the complaint lodged by the victim. The four were remanded to judicial custody after a local court rejected their bail plea, he said.
The girl would be sent for medical examination Friday, he added.
In a separate incident, a man was arrested Thursday in Jeypore town of the state's Koraput district for raping an 11-year-old girl.
The 24-year-old offender had allegedly gone to the girl's house and asked for drinking water. Seeing the girl alone, he raped her, local police said.

Ballia rape: Dalits, women being tortured 

in BJP government, says BSP


New Delhi/Kolkata: After a 16-year-old minor girl was allegedly gang-raped by eight men including a police constable in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia on Sunday night, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) cornered the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying that the Dalits, women and poor people are being tortured in their regime.
“The Dalits, women and poor people are being more tortured in this BJP government in the state. It has become the prime concern for BSP chief Mayawati. This Ballia case is very shameful and condemnable. We demand a severe punishment for the culprits,” BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria told ANI.
Meanwhile, women activist Swashati Ghosh said that the culprits must get adequate punishment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 along with the IPC Section 376 (Punishment for rape).
“As the culprits have been identified, they must get adequate punishment for such a great offence under the POSCO along with the IPC Section 376, Punishment for rape. Since the father died she needs to be compensated for all the hassle she faced. I hope there will be people to look after her and the case,” Ghosh said.
The minor girl was allegedly gang-raped by eight men including a police constable and the head-man of her village when she left the house to relieve herself. Unfortunately, according to the police, the girl’s father died of shock after hearing about the issue. The constable, Dharam Raj, accused of molestation was suspended and was arrested by the police.


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