Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
A group of five men allegedly thrashed and gang-raped a woman in front of her husband near Thanagazi in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. While such harrowing incidents take place on a daily basis, with some even going unreported, it is disappointing to see that such a brutal incident led to a serious political turn, with the BJP accusing the state government of suppressing the incident to ensure that its political fortunes are not adversely affected, as elections in the state were due on May 6.
For politicians, people we choose to run our country, the blame game is more important than ensuring that the survivor gets justice. Forcing the CM to resign and raising questions on each others’ ability to ensure safety in the state has now become more important than really trying to make the state, and the country as a whole, progress. Elections and power, clearly, are much more important for politicians than ensuring that the country’s women are safe.
The incident took place on April 26 around 3 pm when the victim was on her way to Talvriksha from her village, Lalwadi, with her husband on a motorcycle, as per victim’s FIR registered in Gaji police station on April 30.
“The victim’s vehicle was stopped by a group of five men travelling on two motorcycles. The victim’s husband was beaten up by two persons while the remaining three gang-raped her,” the FIR states, as reported by India Today. It further states that the perpetrators recorded a video of the incident and threatened to kill both of them if they complained to the police.
The accused stopped the motorcycle, dragged them to an isolated place and thrashed them brutally, before taking turns to rape the woman. They kept threatening the couple and demanded money. The torture lasted for three hours.
“Even when I was at SHO or at SP office, I kept getting calls from the accused. They kept threatening us. I told the SP that they were threatening us on phone and SP assured us that they will act against them,” said the husband of the rape survivor.
When the couple refused to give them money, the accused uploaded one of the videos on social media later.
“I was scared about our honour, so, I avoided going to the police. I met the SP on April 30. On his order, the police acted the next day but FIR was lodged on May 2. Back then, they said they were busy with polls and will act after elections,” the survivor’s husband said.
The police have arrested three of the accused, identified as Ashok Gujjar, Mukesh Gujjar and Inderaj Gujjar, while two others are absconding. Mukesh Gujjar, police said, is responsible for spreading the video on social media.
This case in Rajasthan has now snowballed into a political controversy. The BJP has accused the state government of suppressing the incident to ensure that its political fortunes are not adversely affected, as elections in the state were due on May 6.
As reported by India Today, Ashok Gehlot said, “I am taking this case very seriously and will monitor it. The BJP is raising the issue as the election is going on.”
BJP state president Madan Lal Saini has sought the resignation of CM Gehlot, who holds the home portfolio. Ever since the Congress came to power in December 2018, he alleged, heinous crimes have been on the rise. Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje said that under the Congress, the law and order condition in the state has deteriorated.
“Neither the CM nor the state home department has issued any statement in the matter. The CM is responsible for the police keeping the investigation pending for so many days. He should resign,” Saini demanded while addressing a press conference.
On the other hand, independent MLA from Thanagazi, Kanti Prasad Meena, alleged that some cops are shielding the rapist.
Meanwhile, Alwar SP Rajiv Pachar was removed by the Rajasthan government, and put under the Awaiting Posting Order status until any further order. The SHO of the Thanagazi police station has been suspended too.
An interim relief Rs 4.12 lakh for the victim has been released by the state government as per the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
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