Mumbai: Jalna teenage girl's family alleges gang-rape; demand cops' suspension
As 19-year-old succumbs in Aurangabad, role of Chunabhatti cops comes under scanner
The family of the 19-year-old gang-rape victim who died on Wednesday evening has demanded action against the police for delay in investigating the crime. The teen was raped by four people around Chembur on July 7, but the Chunabhatti police haven't made a single arrest in the matter yet. The family has demanded the suspension of two cops who didn't take immediate steps to investigate the matter.
They also want action against the doctor in Aurangabad for alleged negligence in treating the victim. The woman, a native of Jalna district, had visited her elder brother in Chembur in July this year. According to her brother, she was invited to a birthday party on July 7. When the woman refused, the friend who invited her said there would be people at the party who could help her with job references. "I was out of town that day. In the evening, my wife called me to say that my sister came home late and was feeling drowsy," said the brother.
When he returned home, the woman was quite weak. "We took her to a nearby doctor who gave her some medicines. Meanwhile, I called my father to inform him of my sister's health," he added. When the parents arrived in Mumbai on July 15, they found her partially paralysed. The family then took her to Jalna for treatment. "We took her back home . But when the treatment there didn't work either, we took her to Ghati Hospital, a government hospital, in Aurangabad," the woman's grandfather told mid-day. Here, the family was told that the teen had been gang-raped and administered with a drug that had impacted her central nervous system. Doctors called Begumpura cops and the girl's father registered a complaint under IPC section 376D (gang rape) and 34 (common intention).
'Probed like criminals'
The case was transferred to Chunabhatti police station as the offence was committed under their jurisdiction. "They questioned me for 17 to 18 hours over two days," the woman's brother said, adding, "They also made my father sit at the police station for two days. My mother was so depressed, she wanted to end her life. The cops were treating us as if we had committed some crime." "Upon checking the woman's phone we found 54 missed calls from one person and a message from the same number saying, 'bhai ko kya bola, mere ko puch raha tha kya' (what did your brother say, was he inquiring about me?) The caller had also threatened my sister against revealing anything to anyone," the brother added. "We shared all these details with the cops but nothing happened. The cops are not even answering us properly," he alleged. "The Chunabhatti cops are just sitting on the file. Two officers even told us to get out when questioned about the progress of the investigation," the woman's father told mid-day. "Is it so difficult to catch four people in 30 days?" he asked.
Senior Inspector Madhav More of Chunabhatti police station refused to divulge any details in the case. "We have questioned some people but have not been able to crack it yet," he said. When asked about the girl feeling drowsy and weak even 15 days after the gang-rape, he said, "We are investigating the matter." He said, "It is a sensitive matter and we are taking every step cautiously." He indicated that the cops could add section 302 (murder) in the FIR if medical reports confirm the victim was administered drugs. DCP Zone VI Shashi Kumar Meena, too, said that "the case is under investigation," without divulging further details.
Dalit groups protest
After the woman's death, Dalit groups in Mumbai, as well as Aurangabad, lodged protests. Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi, Republican Party of India and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), too, protested outside Chunabhatti police station this week. "We are demanding suspension of the officers who were negligent with respect to the investigation," the woman's brother said. "Sack Dr Joshi from Ghati Hospital who called my sister 'dirt' and told our parents to take her home. We demand death penalty for the culprits," he said, adding, "We will not claim her body or allow a post-mortem analysis till our demands are met."
The day the 19-year-old was allegedly gang-raped in Mumbai
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Minor girl allegedly raped by on duty policeman, father dies of shock