Minister admits suicide by tribal couple after torture
THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
RAIPUR: A tribal woman, Devikibai, and her husband, Hira Singh Dhruv, committed suicide due to torture by the village sarpanch's husband, Kashiram Patel, at Kolar village in Abhanpur block of Raipur district, home minister Nandkumar Patel informed the Chhatisgarh assembly on Monday.
Replying to a debate on an adjournment motion moved by Opposition members on the issue of the torture of the tribal woman, the minister said the woman was publicly humiliated by the villagers on May 29. She committed suicide the next day. The woman's husband was detained by the police for 13 days and not allowed to attend the funeral on the complaint of villagers that he was creating a public nuisance.
The husband wrote letters to the chief minister, the state home minister, the district SP and others demanding action against the villagers, responsible for allegedly outraging the modesty of his wife. He waited for one month, but to no avail. Then, he too committed suicide. The couple have four children who were denied ex-gratia.
The Opposition alleged that the culprits were not arrested due to political considerations and that they were protected by tourism minister Dhanendra Sahu. The police also did not register the complaint of the tribal woman, they alleged.
The minister later said that nine persons had been arrested in connection with the incident.
The Opposition members also claimed that since the state was formed, there had been 188 incidents of violation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Protection Act.