CJP moves NHRC in Sultanpur Rape Case

On September 10, villagers from Baijapur in Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh woke up to the mutilated body of a young girl hung from a tree, not much unlike the Badaun rape case. The incident was also reminiscent of the Nirbhaya rape case given how a stick had been inserted in the victim’s private parts. But even after all this time, police investigations have proceeded at a snail’s pace, with allegations of deliberate delays and procedural lapses. Now, CJP had moved the National Human Rights Commission to intervene in the matter to ensure justice.

Sultanpur Rape Case
Image Courtesy: PTI

Though media reportage on the matter has ranged between nil to limited, CJP has been following the case ever since it came to light. Some examples of the possible instances of investigative lacunae up are as follows:
1.       The police allegedly recorded an FIR attributing the information to the owner of the field where the body was discovered. However, the man later claimed in an interview to a local journalist that he was not the one to discover the body. He also said that he was not given a copy of the FIR.
2.       The post mortem was allegedly not conducted within 24 hours of the body being discovered, leading to possible loss of key forensic information.
3.       The post mortem found several serious injuries to the victim’s private parts including tears in her uterus, but these were not mentioned by the police in their public statement where they only limited themselves to talking about strangulation as the cause of death, purportedly to put a shroud over the brutality of the crime, limiting it to just a murder case, when clearly there was a grievous sexual assault that preceded the victim’s eventual death.
4.       The police claimed that investigation was taking time as they were unable to identify the victim. However, the identity of the victim should never be a hurdle in conducting inquiries pertinent to the case.

Reliefs sought in CJP’s petition
Our petition emphasises that “the police, clearly failed to follow protocol in terms of primary investigation and on top of that are making false claims with respect to the post mortem and are representing false facts and the reason for the same is still unknown.” Our petition urges the National Human Rights Commission to “take suo motu cognisance of this case under the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA)” and also seeks “an inquiry into this case involving the SP of Sultanpur District and the police personnel concerned with this case (FIR no. 0423 of 2019)”

With each passing day, as the perpetrators of this abominable crime roam free without being held accountable for their nefarious acts, hope of justice fades. But CJP believes that even when a victim dies, the law of the land shouldn’t. It is with this belief that we have moved NHRC.
The complete petition may be read here:

Mutilated body of girl found hanging from tree in Sultanpur, Badaun 2.0?
Over a fortnight, no arrests: Activists protest ‘police inaction’ in Sultanpur rape case: UP



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