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16 Women Allegedly Raped by Police in Chhattisgarh, NHRC Issues Notice to Govt

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has found in its probe that at least 16 women were raped and sexually and physically assaulted by the state police personnel in Chhattisgarh.

Avdhesh Mallick | News18.com

Updated:January 8, 2017, 2:32 PM IST
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16 Women Allegedly Raped by Police in Chhattisgarh, NHRC Issues Notice to Govt
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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has found in its probe that at least 16 women were raped and sexually and physically assaulted by the state police personnel in Chhattisgarh.

The Commission is further awaiting to record the statements of 20 other victims who, it is alleged, also suffered similar abuse.

It has issued a notice to the Government of Chhattisgarh to explain why it should not recommend interim monetary relief of Rs 37 lakh to them. This includes, Rs.3 lakh each to eight victims of rape, Rs. 2 lakh each to six victims of sexual assault and Rs. 50,000/- each to two victims of physical assault.

The Commission said that human rights of the victims have been grossly violated by the security personnel of the Government of Chhattisgarh for which the State Government is vicariously liable.

The Commission, after careful consideration of the material on record, found that there are in total 34 victims.

It also found that the grave allegations of physical as well as rape/sexual assault committed by security personnel of Government of Chhattisgarh, made in the FIRs, were reiterated before the NHRC Team, which conducted spot investigation and/or before the Magistrate.

Almost all the victims in these incidents, covered under the three FIRs, are tribals.

However, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has not been invoked in any of the cases. As a result of this, the due monetary relief under the SC/ST (PoA) Act has not been paid to the victims.
Therefore, the Commission has directed its DIG (Investigation) to depute a team of officials from the Investigation Division and Law Division to record the statements of 15 victims whose statements were not recorded either by the NHRC Team or by the Magistrate and submit the same to the Commission within one month.

The Additional Director General of Police (CID), Government of Chhattisgarh has also been directed to ensure that SC/ST (PoA) Act is invoked in all the cases the victims belonged to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes.

The Chief Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh has been directed to ensure that monetary relief, if any, under the SC/ST (PoA) Act is paid to the victims at the earliest.

The Commission has also made it clear that the above directions are of interim nature and a final view will be taken in respect of other victims and also with regard to other issues involved in this matter in due course of time.

It may be recalled that the Commission initiated suo motu proceedings on the basis of news report published in the Indian Express dated 2nd November 2015 under the caption "Bijapur: "Policemen raped women, indulged in loot".

It was reported that women from five villages Pegdapalli, Chinnagelur, Peddagelur, Gundam and Burgicheru had alleged that State Police personnel had sexually harassed and assaulted more than 40 of them and gang raped at least two in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. It was also reported that belongings of many villagers were destroyed, stolen or scattered by the forces passing through the villages.

Considering the gravity of the allegations and brutality of sexual violence upon hapless women, the matter was considered by the Full Bench of the Commission on the 22nd February,2016.

The NHRC Team submitted its inquiry report which was sent to the Chief Secretary and DGP, Government of Chhattisgarh for their response to the findings and recommendations contained therein.

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