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Madhya Pradesh

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The Hindu brings first news of another horrendous case from the middle of India:

A man who allegedly raped a tribal schoolgirl in Betul last month came to her home, along with two others, on Friday night and shot her mother dead as the helpless girl watched.

The mother (50), who had filed a complaint with the police after her 15-year-old daughter was raped on her way to school on February 10, had been threatened repeatedly to withdraw her complaint.

The complainant had named a woman, Rani Gawli, as an accomplice who helped the accused, Rajesh Kirar, rape her daughter, following which Rani was arrested. Rani’s husband Rajiv and her brother-in-law had been threatening the girl’s mother to withdraw her complaint.

The girl reportedly told local journalists that Rajiv, his brother Bantu, and Rajesh, the man who raped her, shot her mother thrice in front of her.

A TOI report indicates that this may be just the tip of the iceberg:

[State Women’s Commission] member Jyoti Yevtikar said, “When the victim’s family was being threatened since February by the accomplice Rani’s family, then a case should have been registered under Section 506 of the IPC (punishment for criminal intimidation) instead of preventive action under Section 107/116. Also, when the victim’s family filed a petition in the collector’s public hearing on March 20, the matter was referred to the police, instead of taking direct action.”

SWC chairperson said the murdered woman’s husband, an aged man who was present in the house when she was shot dead, alleged that his elder daughter was trafficked to Ujjain nearly six year ago and the police did not take any action in the matter despite repeated complaints.

Rai said “The rape accused Rajesh and her accomplice Rani started harassing the girl since December. Like her elder sister, Rani was trying to lure her into prostitution. When the girl protested, she was forcibly taken away and raped by Rajesh on February 10 while Rani stood guard.”

The widespread problem of child trafficking hit the headlines recently in the case of the battered baby Falak, with MSN summarizing:

When the rest of the city goes to sleep, defenceless children brought from across the country are awake satisfying the lust of men who check in at the brightly lit new hotels on the NH-8 stretch at Mahipalpur opposite Delhi’s international airport.

These children forced into prostitution are made to service seven men a day for six days in a week and if they don’t achieve their target on one day, they have to do it on the day after.

It’s a horrific story that would have never seen the light of day had a 14-year-old girl not come to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on January 18 with a two-year-old girl battered and bitten all over.

According to the CWC reports, the police were repeatedly informed about the child sex racket but they did not act. The report castigates the local police, describing their attitude towards the case as “casual”.

According to a report, Sunita maintained a diary which contains the contact numbers of other girls as well. The diary was handed over to the investigating officer (IO), but it seems the police sat on it rather than rescuing the minor girls.

Commenting on police apathy, a CWC order issued on March 13 notes: “It is observed that even after one month when details of the hotels and guesthouses and a girl child were given to the IO, there is no action taken as yet.”

Senior police officials denied the allegations. Ajay Choudhary, additional commissioner of police of south-east district, said all the accused “involved in this case” have already been arrested and further investigations are on. “We have received the reports from the agency (CWC) and have gone through the details. It is a serious matter and police officers are working on it.”

As the sex ratio at birth in India gets more and more skewed, this awful trade in humans will continue to grow and destroy more lives. Couple this with the questionable attitude of the police, and other parts of the rural power structure, and you have the outlines of one of the most serious threats to stability in the coming years.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

March 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

Posted in crime, India

Tagged with , ,

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