Dalit groups demand arrest of rapists

`Police are protecting murderers'

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Dalit groups have demanded arrest of persons responsible for alleged rape and consequent murder of a 32-year-old Dalit woman labourer in a crusher unit at Todaraisingh in Tonk district of Rajasthan last month. The demand follows the report of a fact-finding team which visited the area.

In a memorandum to Pawan Surana, Chairperson of the State Women's Commission, the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights said what the local police were making out to be an accident involving a stone crusher was a case of gang-rape by two employees of the factory.

"The duo, after calling the victim on the pretext of making her the payment of her wages on June 19, had repeatedly raped her and murdered her thereafter," the memorandum alleged.

"In order to destroy the evidence and make it appear an accident they threw her into the crusher,'' Kavita Srivastava, general secretary of the Rajasthan People's Union for Civil Liberties, who accompanied the fact-finding team, said.

An enquiry committee of the All India Progressive Women's Association which visited the area also has come out with similar observations. "It is a case of rape and murder and there is evidence available to prove it,'' Srilatha Swamination, AIPWA president, said.

"It is a matter of concern that the police are protecting the murderers. The Deputy Superintendent of Police told us that there was no evidence to arrest the suspects as it was an accident case,'' Satish Kumar, State secretary of NCDHR, said.

The first information report in the case is registered under Sections 302, 376 IPP and under 3(i)(xii), 3(i)(ii) and 3(i)(v) of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

The memorandum, charging that it was a "clear case of rape and murder'', said the perpetrators were politically influential people.

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