Alleged rape of Dalit in Banaskantha: ‘Police diluted rape case to sexual harassment’

Patidar and Dalit leaders claimed the police diluted the complaint of rape by filing an FIR for sexual harassment.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: June 21, 2017 6:32 am
Patidar and Dalit leaders, Banaskantha police, Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM), Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), Burai village dalit girl rape, Gujarat News, Indian Express news Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani. (File)

Patidar and Dalit leaders on Tuesday accused Banaskantha police of not registering a case regarding rape of an 18-year-old at Bural village in the district. They claimed the police diluted the complaint of rape by filing an FIR for sexual harassment. Jignesh Mevani of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM), Reshma Patel and Chirag Patel of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in a joint press conference here brought the Dalit girl and claimed that she was raped on June 10 when she went out to relieve herself in the open.

“The victim along with her parents went to police to register a complaint, stating that she was raped. But officers at Deesa police station first told her to bring school leaving and caste certificates. She returned home, around 25 km from the police station, and brought the certificate. She was then taken to a dark room by a lady police, who registered a case of sexual harassment and not rape,” Mevani said.

“The rapist belongs to the Darbar community and he had issues with the Dalits in the village since they refused to pick dead cows in protest of the the Una flogging incident. The FIR filed in the matter is of sexual harassment and not rape,” he said. Chirag Patel from PAAS said , “We want a Rs 20 lakh compensation for the rape victim, an FIR for rape and not sexual harassment, and action against the police officers who did not take proper action on her complaint.”

The Dalit and Patidar leaders announced that if their demands were not met by June 26, their outfits will block the Deesa road. They also said that they had submitted a memorandum in this regard to the collector. SP of Banaskantha Neeraj Badgujar told The Indian Express: “We were not told it was a rape case. We are willing to change the case. We have been trying to get in touch with them (the family) for two days, but there has been no response. We did the medical examination of the girl as she was bitten on the cheek and had an injury on her hand… we did not examine her for rape as she never told us she was raped.”

He said the accused had been arrested for sexual harassment. Collector of Banaskantha Dileep Rana said, “I got a memorandum on June 13. I have been told by police that they are willing to include rape charges if the girl asks them to. Also, if any police person has not done his or her duty, then we will investigate in the matter.”

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