Other States

40 tribal women complain of molestation by Bijapur police

Nearly 40 tribal women from three villages in the restive Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh have accused police jawans of molestation. The women belong to Peddagelur, Budgicheru and Gundam villages of Basaguda block.

Soni Sori, tribal activist and Aam Aadmi Party leader, who visited the villages with a team of woman activists, said the harassment took place when security forces from Bijapur were carrying out an operation in the area between October 19 and 24.

“The women told us that around 40 of them were molested by the policemen. Two of them said they were raped. The policemen stripped many women and indulged in indecent behaviour,” Ms. Sori told The Hindu.

“These villages are situated deep inside the forest. We were able to bring four women to Bijapur district headquarters today [Sunday] and they have testified in front of District Collector Yashwant Kumar,” she said.

Mr. Kumar confirmed that he had received complaints from the four women, but denied there were allegations of rape. “We took statements from the four women and they have complained of beating by the policemen. An FIR has been lodged. Inquiry is going on and strict action will be taken against anyone found guilty. They [tribal women] have not complained of rape, but we are looking into all angles,” he said.

But Ms. Sori insisted that the two women did complain of rape. “They recounted every detail of the incident. Perhaps the Collector did not understand everything because the women were speaking Gondi,” she said.

Superintendent of Police K.L. Dhruw said: “An operation did take place in the area and a force of around 500 men was there. These boys ventured into that Maoist sensitive area as a road is to be built there. The Maoists don’t want the road. So more than eight days after the operation, they conspired to make such allegations against the policemen to demoralise them,” he said.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 7:45:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/40-tribal-women-complain-of-molestation-by-bijapur-police/article7830161.ece

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