MEDICAL EXAMINATION of the two girls, who were detained by Gadchiroli C-60 commandos on the night intervening January 20 and 21, has ruled out sexual assault, said Inspector General of Police (Gadchiroli range) Shivaji Bodkhe.
“We will now initiate strict legal action against those who made such baseless claims,” Bodkhe told The Indian Express. “The activists may see the police as enemies but it is reprehensible that they put out messages on social media, giving the girls’ names and claiming they were raped, which maligned their image. The activists have used the girls as a tool for their propaganda and we will take strict action against them,” he said.
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“The girls in fact told our Sub-Divisional Police Officer at Etapalli Nitin Jadhav that the commandos had given them tea, food, sleeping bags and refreshment in the morning. And there were 60 commandos on the spot. How is it possible that the girls could have been raped with all the 60 acting in unison?” asked Bodkhe.
Activists, including Ramdas Jarate and Sainu Gota, from Gadchiroli had claimed that the girls had accused the commandos of raping them. Gota’s wife Sheela said, “The girls told me they were raped.” On the medical report refuting sexual assault charges, Jarate said, “If that is the report, we’ll accept it.”
The girls were detained when they were found walking to Naintola village. The police had claimed that the two were detained for the night as a precautionary measure as the commandos were sitting in an ambush following a firing incident in Chhattisgarh.
“The Naxals are known to run away in civilian clothes,” Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh had said. Jarate, however, said, “The girls and villagers from the other side have claimed that there was no exchange of fire.”
Following the arrest, a large crowd had gathered outside Gatta police station to protest against “police assault on girls”. The protest continued on Sunday.
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