Rape victims look for justice

The Times of India News Service

LUCKNOW: The government has apparently turned a blind eye to the goings-on in Mall tehsil of the Lucknow district where rape victims are being made to run from pillar to post in quest of justice. With their modesty outraged by the powerful men of the tehsil and a constant threat of being eliminated, two such victims have sought refuge in the CPI office here.

Satana Devi and Sonapati, both Dalits, had allegedly been raped by influential men of the Mall tehsil. While an FIR has been lodged in the case of the former, the latter's case has been presented as an attempt to rape.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, regional convener of CPI Kaushal Kishore presented the two victims and their parents who narrated their sufferings at the hands of the upper castes. Twenty-year-old Satana Devi said: "I was forced by my husband Madan to satisfy the lust of Kunwar Balbir Singh of village Atari, Naurang Singh Thakur, the gram pradhan of Ranipara, and Bansi, a rickshawpuller. The three along with my husband threatened to eliminate me and my family if I dared to reveal anything." She was abandoned by her husband near a pond in a semi-conscious state and which eventually led to her aborting her four month fetus. Since then her parents have been knocking at the doors of the officers concerned for justice.

For 12-year-old Sonapati, who is still to understand the meaning of rape, it has also been one futile quest for justice. Her father said: "Sonapati was raped on May 10 simply because I refused to follow the dictates of the upper castes. The rape was meant to teach me a lesson." Mall Chowki incharge Prem Singh Raikwar, however, only lodged an FIR which showed it to be a case of attempt to rape, he said.

Kishore said the injustice of the system could be gauged by the fact that the medical examination conducted on May 14 at the Balrampur Hospital here after much pursuing by CPI workers established that Sonapati had been raped.

Demanding the arrest of those who had allegedly raped the two girls, Kishore said a deliberate attempt was being made to shield Raikwar. He added if a fact-finding team was sent to Mall it could see for itself the kind of atrocities being unleashed on the women of the suppressed classes.

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Source: http://www.timesofindia.com/today/09mlkn11.htm
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 11, 2001
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