Image: Hindustan Times
Just before the festive weekend commenced for many parts of India, culminating the nine sacred days of Navratri, worshiping the nine forms of the Goddess yet another distressing news of crime against a woman was reported in Uttar Pradesh. This time too, the victim was a Dalit teenager.
According to a news report in The Telegraph, the Dalit teenager was shot “five times in the head and killed” allegedly by three youths who she had stood up to for molesting her. The horrific crime took place in Premnagar in Firozabad district,in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. The report stated how the teen, a class 11 student, was returning from school when the three men — identified as Manish Yadav, Sopali Yadav and Gaurav Chak — allegedly molested her.
“She had told us about the incident after returning home. At night, we were walking on the terrace after dinner when the youths came on a motorbike, entered our house and shot my daughter. We rushed downstairs and found her lying in a pool of blood. The trio ran away on seeing us,” the father of the 16-year-old girl told police on Saturday, stated the news report.
The victim’s father told the police that the men had “been molesting and harassing girls in the area for the past several months. Residents know these are criminals, so they avoid lodging a police complaint,” the said. His daughter, just a teenage schoolgirl, had bravely protested when the trio attacked her. According to the father the men had misbehaved with his daughter in the past also and he had told the police about it. “But I had never imagined that they would kill my daughter for standing up to them,” he added. Sachindra Patel, the senior superintendent of police, told the media that Manish and Sopali had been arrested. The police said that the killers had pumped five bullets into the girl’s head, killing her on the spot.
It is not known yet if the police had any information about the molestation and harassment allegations against the accused at all, during daily patrols in the area or even during the awareness drives that were conducted across Uttar Pradesh during ‘mission Shakti’ launched by Chief Minister Adityanath during Navratri. The horrific list of crimes against women, especialy Dalit women seems to be at an all time high in October:
October 21, Mahoba: Teenager alleges gangrape
The incident took place on Wednesday night when the 19-year-old was returning home after attending an aarti of Goddess Durga, as a part of the nine-day festival. She alleged that she was abducted and raped by the three accused, news reports stated that the police confirmed this. The 19-year-old was allegedly gang-raped by three men after attending a Navratri event in Panwadi area of Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba. Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Shrivastava told the media: “The case of rape has come to the fore in Panwadi area. The accused took her to a secluded place behind her house and raped her. The Police have acted promptly and all the three accused have been arrested.” The teen was also sent for a medical examination and investigations continue.
October 16, Jaunpur: 15-year-old girl, allegedly raped in a paddy field
The incident was reported from the Sikarara area of eastern Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) Jaunpur district in the evening, stated news reports. According to the police, the accused were on the run. The girl was allegedly attacked when she was returning home after buying medicines from a local market. “Her family members have informed that the youths caught her while she was returning home from a medical store, which is located on the outskirts of the village,” a police officer was quoted by news reports. The teenager confided in her parents, who filed a complaint at the local police station. Angad Prasad Tiwari, station house officer (SHO) of the police station, told the media that a first information report (FIR) has been filed under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
October 14, Barabanki: Teenage Dalit girl’s body found in paddy field
The victim’s family suspect rape as they found the half-naked body of their teenage daughter on night of October 14, 2020, in a paddy field where she had gone to work. The Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki police found her the tied-up and half-naked body of a teenage Dalit girl in the village paddy field. The area is only 40 km from the state capital Lucknow. Media reports quoted Superintendent of Police RS Gautam saying that an initial probe suggested that the girl was strangled by her own shirt. The family members alleged that her semi-naked condition suggested sexual assault too. Gautam said the girl was missing, after she left home to cut paddy crops. The family found her body in the field while searching for her on the same night. The incident occurred in Tipri village within Satrikh police station limits. Police and the administration did not share the post-mortem report but sought the opinion of doctors, who carried out the post-mortem examination, regarding the possibility of rape.
October 13, Gonda: Three Dalit sisters, minors, attacked in their sleep with acid
Three Dalit sisters, all of them minors, were attacked with acid while they were asleep inside their residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district. It was a tweet by the Gonda police that made the incident public. The oldest of the three, aged 17, had 35 per cent burn injuries, while the other two, aged 12 and 8, escaped with 25 per cent and 5 percent burn injuries, respectively. The family members told police that at around 2 A.M, all the three sisters came running downstairs, howling in pain. Their father initially thought the burn injuries were from a gas cylinder, but later realised it was an acid attack. The girls’ parents recently fixed the marriage of their eldest daughter, a high school passout. She received the maximum burn injuries out of the three girls. The family does not suspect anyone so far, SP Pandey said, adding that the attacker must be from the same locality as it’s a small town.
October 11, Jhansi: Teen alleges rape on college campus
A class 10 student alleged that she was raped by a college student, robbed and filmed by around a dozen more. The 17-year-old girl complained to the police that she was raped on Sunday, allegedly by a student of a Jhansi college. She alleged that the assault took place in the college campus even as preliminary exams 2020 were underway for the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Civil Services (PCS). According to a report in The Hindustan Times, the girl, a class 10 student, alleged in her police complaint that “around a dozen students of the college forcibly took her inside the campus”. She alleged that while one of them assaulted her, and many others filmed an objectionable video. The teenager added that the accused also thrashed the boy she had gone to meet, and threatened to to “make the video viral if she revealed the incident to anyone.” A news report stated that the college principal said the accused were second year students, and that the institute was cooperating with the police in establishing the identity of other students involved in the incident.
October 11, Chitrakoot: 15-yr-old Dalit ‘gangrape victim’ takes her own life
In a gruesome case of gendered assault, her family members have alleged after her death that she was raped by three men in a forest area on October 8, the UP police said. The Dalit teenager, who was allegedly raped by three men, ended her life by hanging herself in the Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, police officials stated. The Superintendent of Police (SP), Chitrakoot Ankit Mittal publicly stated that the 15-year-old girl hanged herself in her house in the Manikpur area on Tuesday. It was after the girl’s death, her family members alleged that she was raped by three men in a forest area on October 8, the officer said. On the basis of a complaint from the victim’s family members, a former village head’s son Kishan Upadhyay and two others were arrested under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Mittal said.
As mentioned earlier, these are the crimes against women which have been placed on record, and reported, there may be many more which remain unreported.