A DAY after Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti claimed that she had ordered torture of rapists when she was Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, senior officials in her administration said they could not recollect any such incident. Bharti was chief minister of Madhya Pradesh from December 8, 2003 to August 23, 2004. While campaigning for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in Agra on Thursday, Bharti raised the issue of last year’s rape of a mother and daughter near Bulandshahr, and blamed the state administration for letting the accused be released on bail.
“Jab hamare rashtriya adhyaksh ne kaha aise logon ko ulta taang kar haddiya tod deni chahiye, to ye kaha gaya ki ye manav adhikaraoon ke hanan ki baat ho rahi hai. Aap mujhe bataiye, manav adhikaar uska hota hai jo maanav hota hai. Jo daanav hota hai, uska maanav adhikaar nahi hota hai. (When our national president said that such people should be hung upside down and their bones broken, it was said he is talking about violation of human rights. You tell me, human rights are only for those who are humans, not for demons),” she said.
“Agar danav ka dand nahi hoga, to dharm ka maarg bhrasht ho jaata hai. Vedon ka maarg bhrasht ho jaata hai. Isiliye aise logon ko… unhi ladkiyon ke saamne aur mahilaon ke saamne ulta latka kar ke maar maar kar chamri udhedh kar, phir us maans me namak aur mirch bhar dena chahiye, taaki ye tadpe… aur inko tadapte hue dekhe wo ladkiya, wo maayen or bahene… (If demons are not punished,
then one is deviating from the righteous path, from the path of the Vedas. Therefore, such people should be hung upside down, beaten and skinned in front of their victims. Salt and chilli should be applied to their wounds, so that they writhe in pain. And they should be seen in pain by their victims),” said Bharti.
“Maine aisa karwaya tha jab main mukhyamantri thi, jab ek mahila ke saath aisa hua tha to maine aisa karwaya tha. Aur mujhe police ke adhikariyon ne kaha tha ki didi, manav adhikaron ka hanan ho jayega. Maine kaha tha ki daanav ka manav adhikar nahi hota. Aur un mahilaon ko maine kaha ki thaane ke bahar khidki se dikhana, aur andar thane me ulta latka kar itna maarna ki inki cheekhen in ladkiyon ke kaan me jab jayengi tab in ladkiyon ke aatma thandi hogi, shaanti milegi, nahi to inko shanti nahi milegi. (I had ensured such punishment when I was the chief minister. Police officers told me that it would be violation of human rights. I said demons do not have human rights. I issued instructions for the women to be allowed to see the accused being hung upside down, and beaten so badly that their screams were heard outside),” she said.
However, senior officials in her administration said they could not recollect any such incident. S K Das, who was the Director General of Police in Madhya Pradesh for 16 months, including the eight months when Bharti was CM, told The Indian Express that he could not remember such an incident.
“Forget about actually doing it, one can’t even think of doing something like this. If a police officer had done it, I would have either terminated or suspended him. Our duty is to protect law and order, not to engage in illegal acts like these,” said Das.
“When even a thappad (slap) can invite a charge under Section 323 (punishment for voluntary causing hurt), why talk of torture. She is a politician and free to speak,” he said, adding that while rapists must be dealt with sternly, the law has already been amended to ensure strict punishment.
Babulal Gaur, who was the home minister during those eight months, said, “I don’t remember it. I do not want to comment about it.”