The National Human Rights Commission sent notices to the police heads of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh after an alleged victim of sexual assault and police apathy set herself afire outside the Supreme Court in August, officials said Wednesday. Issuing the notices, the National Human Rights Commission has observed that it is "shocking" the woman felt "victimised by the system".
"The National Human Rights Commission has taken cognisance of a complaint that a woman, victim of alleged sexual assault and police apathy set herself on fire along with a man outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi on August 16, 2021. Subsequently both died while undergoing treatment at RML Hospital," the NHRC said in a statement. The commission has issued notices to the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, asking them to submit a detailed report in four weeks, along with the action initiated against the errant public servants, it said.
The Uttar Pradesh DGP has also been directed to "ensure safety and security of the family members of the victims", the statement said. Allegedly, before immolating themselves, they recorded a live video on Facebook, wherein the woman had said that in June 2019 she had lodged a rape case against an MP from Uttar Pradesh, but the "accused police officials were supporting the offender", the rights panel said in the statement.
"Allegedly, instead of taking action against the accused MP, the police registered a false case against her and get issued a non-bailable warrant against her," it said. After the woman and the man had attempted self-immolation, the police had registered a case under Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. They suspected the man had convinced the woman to take the extreme step. They had said she was from Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur and was allegedly raped by Bahujan Samaj Party MP Atul Rai in 2019.
The MP has been in judicial custody in the case for the last two years. Earlier, a senior police officer had said that the man and the woman took the extreme step as a court had issued a non-bailable warrant against them in a case of forgery for allegedly submitting wrong proof of age in the rape case. In her Facebook video, the woman had mentioned the warrant and that she had been summoned by the judge.