Staff Reporter

Rally taken out from Jagadamba junction to Collectorate

Women organisation to send a fact-finding mission to the village

Police flayed for allegedly delaying medical examination

VISAKHAPATNAM: Women activists wearing black saris and dresses barged into the Collectorate on Wednesday and burnt the effigy of Director-General of Police M.A. Basith demanding a probe by a sitting High Court judge into the alleged gang-rape of 11 tribal women in G. Madugula mandal.

Activists belonging to Progressive Organisation for Women (POW), AIDWA, Mahila Chetana and AP Mahila Samakhya took out a rally from Jagadamba junction to the Collectorate raising slogans against the DGP and the Superintendent of Police Akhun Sabharwal for dubbing the gang-rape charge `false and creation of Maoists.’ When they found that the Collector was not there, the activists burnt the effigy of Mr. Basith despite resistance by the police.

Meanwhile, the women organisations decided to go on a fact-finding mission to Vakapalli where the alleged crime was committed on Thursday.

POW president M. Lakshmi found fault with the police for “delaying medical examination” for several hours and detaining the victims at Anakapalle for sometime instead of bringing them straight from Paderu to Visakhapatnam as per the instructions of the State Human Rights Commission. She said the claim of King George Hospital in-charge Superintendent Somayajalu that no bruises were found was unfortunate and pointed out how they could resist when they were raped at gun-point by the police personnel.

‘Cover-up bid’

AIDWA State secretary K. Swaroopa Rani said the Government was making an attempt to hush up the case. She told reporters that the statements of the DGP and the SP and the attempt to conduct medical test on the victims at Anakapalle and failure of any senior official to visit Vakapalli suggest that the authorities were shielding the accused Greyhound constables.

AIDWA district secretary B. Prabhavati said during her visit to Vakapalli, she found torn-off clothes and bangles at agriculture field – where the policemen allegedly raped the tribal women.

She said the offence was committed at about 6.30 a.m. as some policemen stood guard in the village.