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Bihar gangrape case: Woman booked for ‘misbehaviour’ while recording statement

The woman allegedly raised her voice and insisted that she would sign the statement only after one of the activists read it out to her.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Published: July 15, 2020 5:04:28 am
The woman, who works as a cook and is illiterate, was allegedly gangraped on July 6 and she filed a complaint on July 7 with Araria women police station. (File)

A woman who was allegedly gangraped has been booked along with two activists and sent to jail on charges of stopping public servants from doing their duty while recording her statement before a magistrate in Araria.

The woman allegedly raised her voice and insisted that she would sign the statement only after one of the activists read it out to her.

The woman, who works as a cook and is illiterate, was allegedly gangraped on July 6 and she filed a complaint on July 7 with Araria women police station. An FIR was registered on July 9. Called to record her statement before the magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC, she appeared with two social activists. When the magistrate asked her to sign her statement, the woman reportedly showed dissent and insisted that one of the activists first read it out to her.

Araria Sub Divisional police officer Pushkar said: “As per rule, no one can accompany a complainant during recording of her statement before the magistrate. The woman and two activists face charges of stopping public servants from doing their duty and threatening the presiding officer and were sent to jail.”

The FIR — lodged by the court clerk at the first class judicial magistrate of Araria — said the activists started “asking for a copy of the victim’s recorded statement from the presiding officer and also threatened that they belonged to Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan”. It accused them of threatening the presiding officer to “re-record the victim’s statement”, called it an “open threat to judiciary” and demanded a probe into the social organisation. The three were booked under IPC Sections including 353 (assault or criminal force to stop public servant from doing their duty), 229 (personation of juror), 188 (disobedience to order), 180 (refusing to sign his/ her own statement made) and for contempt of court.

While the woman’s medical report is awaited, the police have arrested one of the five accused in the gangrape case. They said they have no substantial details on the other four.

Ashish Ranjan, Secretary, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan, told The Indian Express: “The survivor was well within her rights to ask for a confidant. The court mistook her agitation as a personal affront. The focus seems to have shifted from the rape case to the misbehaviour allegations on the survivor. We have full faith in the judiciary and are looking for legal remedies.”

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