Counsel for the family of the deceased Dalit girl in Jind Haryana, Rajat Kansal, is expected to move the area magistrate today, to obtain a copy of the post-mortem report that was conducted in AIIMS and handed over to the Jind police on Thursday.
This is the third post-mortem that was conducted after the first two post-mortems, one at Civil Hospital Jind and the other at Rohtak PGIMS ruled out rape and murder, contradicting circumstantial evidence. The family and villagers who saw the body refuse to accept this version and insist that it was both rape and murder. They are continuing their protests, asking for a CBI enquiry into the matter.
The family and villagers held on to the body of the girl for six days before finally cremating it on Saturday morning.
The Additional Commissioner of Police, Jind has promised to give Rs. 10 lakh as financial help to the family and agreed to withdraw the FIRs registered against protestors. The three villagers who were arrested when the villagers were protesting the callous attitude of the authorities have since been released.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, citizens lead by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch protested at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding a thorough investigation into the matter. On Sunday, the Centre for Struggling Women held a protest outside Haryana Bhavan against the mismanagement of police investigation in the case. Despite several attempts of the Haryana Bhavan security staff to disrupt the protest, the demonstration continued till the Personal Assistant to the Resident Commissioner of Haryana came out to accept the Memorandum.
The Memorandum demanded that “considering the poor record of the Haryana government that has time and time again failed to curb the dictatorial powers of khap panchayats and has also failed to provide justice to rape victims, especially of those from the Dalit community, a CBI investigative team should be constituted for the case”. The Memorandum also demanded that “the callous officials of the Jind Police who have been trying to posit the incident as one of suicide, should be suspended till the investigation is completed”.
The 20 year-old woman was found dead on August 25, near Amarheri area in Jind, Haryana where she had come to appear for the Junior Basic Teachers’ Test. Unfortunately, it was only in response to the protests of her family members and villagers, who alleged that the woman was kidnapped, raped and murdered, that the police conducted a preliminary enquiry and registered a case of murder against unidentified individuals.
“The contradictory evidence warrants a higher level of enquiry into the case, especially as it indicates the possibility of the connivance of the local police in downplaying the incident. The change in the status of the case from murder to suicide absolves the police from any accountability and helps conceal the growing trend of brutal oppression of women, especially of women from marginalized communities in Haryana”, said a protestor.
(The writer accompanied the fact finding team to Jind)