The woman, who along with her friend was assaulted, allegedly by Bajrang Dal members, in Khurja town of UP’s Bulandshahr district Sunday, has alleged that she was gangraped too but police did not lodge her complaint in this regard. The victim’s statement was recorded before the court Thursday. Police have included the gangrape charges in the FIR on the basis of her statement in court.
Draped in a burqa, the woman in her late 20s told The Indian Express that she lived in Bulandshahr city with her husband and three children and had come to visit her parents in Khurja a few days ago. According to her, she and her friend were talking while waiting for pizza when some persons, claiming to be Bajrang Dal members, attacked them. “They sexually abused me. When police arrived, they tried to strangulate me with my dupatta,” she alleged. “I was to return on Sunday. These people did this. They made a video too. My husband asked why I went there and banged the phone. Where will I go now? The wounds may get healed, but my life won’t be fixed. I need justice.”
In the video that has gone viral, the man and the woman, both Muslims, can be seen being assaulted with sticks.
Police have arrested five persons, including district convener of Bajrang Dal Praveen Bhati. Circle officer Vijay Prakash Singh said the man and woman were old friends. Both were in Khurja on Sunday and decided to meet. “They went to a confectionery shop to have pizza, but wanted to talk in private. This (attack) happened when some Bajrang Dal men noticed the two and were told that one of them is a Muslim. Bhati thought it was a case of ‘love jihad’. Later, he found both were Muslims, but beat them up anyway,” he said. He said they had named 20 persons, including Bhati, in the FIR. They have been booked under charges of rioting, attempt to murder, illegal detention and molestation. While four accused are still in jail, Bhati was granted bail Wednesday.
Bhati said neither he nor any member of Bajrang Dal thrashed or raped the woman. “I saved them from the mob. The state is under SP rule and right-wing activists are being framed.”