EXPRESSING ITS concern over the rise in crimes against women and police apathy in such cases, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has written to the Uttar Pradesh DGP, directing him to investigate recent reports of a woman in Hapur being hospitalised with severe burns after cops refused to lodge her complaint regarding trafficking and gangrape.
In a letter issued on Monday, the NCW referred to media reports about a “woman who worked as domestic help” being “allegedly subjected to continuous harassment and gangrape”. The letter said that the reports further said that when she approached the Hapur police station, they refused to register her complaint leading to her resorting to self-immolation and battling for her life with 80 percent burn injuries.
The NCW has asked UP DGP O P Singh to thoroughly investigate the matter and take action against the “erring officials”. The letter added, “The Commission is seriously concerned about the rise in crime against women and also the reported police apathy”.
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma told The Indian Express that the Commission also sent a team to the hospital to talk to the survivor on Tuesday. “The woman informed our team that she has been in the hospital for the last 25 days. There is a lot of social apathy evident in her case. She was tortured and raped for several years and the police should have acted sooner on her complaint,” Sharma said.
Reports citing the FIR filed by the police said the woman was sold by her father to another man in 2011. The man, in order to pay off the many debts he owed to others, sent the woman to work for them as a domestic help. Over a period of five years starting 2014, she was allegedly raped by multiple men.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also issued a notice to the UP Chief Secretary and DGP asking for detailed reports to be submitted to it in the matter, including on steps taken to protect and rehabilitate her as well as on the investigations, within the four weeks.
Noting that as per reports the police refused to register her complaint, the NHRC notice states that “remissness and the act of negligence on the part of police authorities… has aggravated the distressful plight of the lady, which cannot be tolerated in a civilized society governed by rule of law.”