She was allegedly gang-raped by four men when riots hit Muzaffarnagar. As they barged into her house at a village in Fugana and held her at gunpoint, her 10-year-old son fled. Later, she too left the house, spent the night in a jungle and made her way to a relief camp, where she reunited with her son.
Eight months since, the victim is still fighting for justice. The men she has accused are still at large and allegedly threatening to kill her and her family unless she takes her complaint back. Fearing for their son, the woman and her husband, a casual labourer, have sent him to a home in Kerala.
The woman was among seven gang-raped during the riots. The other six victims, who are in another relief camp, have been given police protection and compensation; she says she is the only exception. The victims belong to one community, the accused to the other. Twenty-six men have been accused and only two of them arrested.
On May 29, the victim through her counsel Vrinda Grover and Naseem filed a complaint with the senior superintendent of police, special investigation cell, Muzaffarnagar, alleging that not only have the accused been threatening to kill her but the investigating officer of the case too has been pressuring her to take the complaint back, besides parading her before members of the other community to humiliate her. “The UP police cannot be trusted. If the IO is pressuring the victim to take her complaint back, where will she find hope?” said Naseem.
SSP (Muzaffarnagar) Hari Narayan Singh refused to comment on the complaint. “All victims have been provided police protection. No one is being troubled either by the accused or the IO of the case. We have completed investigations under sections 82 and 83 of the CrPC and chargesheeted all the accused,” he said.
The case with Fugana police names the accused as Ramkumar, Sunil, Devender and Ramesh, who have been charged with robbery/dacoity with attempt to cause grievous hurt, gang-rape and other offences.
The complaint to the SSP alleges that before the woman recorded her statement before a magistrate on May 1, the IO had called her several times and asked her not give a statement. The officer allegedly threatened to dilute the case and show that no evidence had been found. The complaint quotes the IO as saying, “Muslim women were falsely implicating innocent Jat men in rape cases… and were doing this to make money.”
The compliant accuses the IO of going to the relief camp and warning her that the accused would kill her and her son. It also states that the IO took the family to her village for a site inspection. “There, the IO gathered a number of Jat shop owners and mocked the applicant and her family.” The complaint states that Ramkumar threatened to kill her son and husband if she deposed against the accused.
The victim has demanded that police protection be provided to her, the investigating officer be changed and the investigation transferred to another agency.
In an application to the district magistrate, the victim has stated that despite a Supreme Court order that Rs 5 lakh be given as compensation, it has not been provided to her while the other six women have been given both protection and compensation.