SHO of Ellenabad station refused to register rape complaint

Rubbing salt into their wound, the Station House Officer of a police station in Haryana’s Sirsi district refused to register a complaint of rape made by relatives of a 19-year-old Dalit girl, who was gang-raped on Saturday allegedly by three boys from the dominant caste, all known to her. None of the accused has been arrested yet.

In fact, “when the girl mentioned the names of the boys, a woman police officer intimidated her into not revealing their names,” said Rajat Kalsan, advocate with Human Rights Law Network, who gave her version of the incident.

The first B.A student was was waiting at a bus stop on her way to college when the three boys, riding a car, offered to give her a lift. But they took her to an isolated spot and took turns to rape her. Then they drove to another location and were attempting to rape her again when one of the boys got a call on his cellphone.

“The caller said the relatives of the girl had gone to the police and they [the boys] might get into trouble,” Mr. Kalsan told The Hindu. On hearing the phone message, the boys forced her to take a sedative and drove off.

The girl’s relatives later found her unconscious at a secluded location and went to the Ellenabad police station but the SHO refused to register a complaint of rape. When the relatives and local activists protested, an FIR was filed under Section 365 (kidnap) of the Indian Penal Code.

The girl was then taken to a hospital in Sirsa for medico-legal inspection, where, according to the advocate, she was subjected to a two-finger test. The Supreme Court has held the conduct of this test on victims of sexual assault intrusive and advised the government against it. People accompanying the girl were horrified and decided to take her to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak for an examination. Mr. Kalsan said he would move the High Court if the the police tried to scuttle the case.