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Dalit girls’ death: It was murder,not suicide,say panels in chorus

The teams of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis,which visited Moradabad on Tuesday to inquire into the deaths of two Dalit sisters on Saturday.

The teams of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis,which visited Moradabad on Tuesday to inquire into the deaths of two Dalit sisters on Saturday,said the girls were killed,and blamed the local officials for the tragedy.

Both the teams rejected the district administration’s claim that the girls had committed suicide,unable to bear the taunts of neighbours after their brothers were booked in a case of double murder.

The NCSC team was led by member Raju Parmar while Swaraj Jeevan headed the NCSK team.

NCSC chairman PL Punia told The Indian Express,“The officials of the district administration and the police are responsible for the death of the Dalit sisters. Our team has conducted an inquiry and the commission would get a case under the SC/ST Atrocity Act registered against erring officials according to the findings. The girls were killed and it was not a case of suicide.”

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Jeevan said,“We conducted an inquiry and found that the mother of the victims had been requesting senior officials of the police and the administration for security since December 9. She feared attack on her and her daughters,but the officials hurled abuses at her and shooed her away from their offices.”

He further said,“It is a case of murder and I am recommending action against the District Magistrate and the DIG of Moradabad,holding them responsible for the killing of two Dalit girls and getting a false case of robbery and murder fabricated against the Dalit girls’ brothers Rakesh and Rajesh.”

Both the teams visited the house in Kothiwal Nagar where the charred bodies of Geeta and Neetu alias Monu were found and recorded the statement of their mother who was present in the house at the time of the incident. The teams also spoke to their neighbours.

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Later,the teams met the doctors who conducted the postmortem examination of the two girls,and the forensic experts who had examined the room. They also recorded the statements of the local SHO,the Circle Officer,the SP (City),and the City Magistrate who had visited the spot on December 18.

Parmar and Jeevan met the DIG and the DM and inquired about the steps they had taken in the matter.

Moradabad DIG Ashok Kumar said he gave all details to the members of both the commissions and replied to their queries. “The investigation would find out if the mother’s allegation that Geeta and Neetu were set ablaze by a mob is true,” the DIG said. He said the police had already registered a case under various sections of IPC and the SC/ST Act and an Assistant SP was conducting the investigation.

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Rajjo Devi had alleged in her complaint that a mob entered her house and set her daughters ablaze after outraging their modesty.

Her sons,Rajesh and Rakesh,were arrested after Pankaj Gagneja,who lives in the same locality,had lodged a complaint,naming them for the murder of his wife Pooja and daughter Sania,and robbery at his house on December 9.

While Rajesh was arrested the next day,Rakesh is on the run.

First published on: 22-12-2010 at 01:57:19 am
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