The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) expresses its shock at the brutal gang rape of a 9 year old Dalit girl, followed by her forced cremation by the perpetrators in Purana Nangal village of the Delhi Cantonment area on 1 August 2021. On 4 August, 2021, a delegation led byBrinda Karat, AIDWA Delhi general secretary Asha Sharma and Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch leader Nathu Prasad, met the family of the girl and expressed support in their struggle for justice.
The girl belongs to a poor, homeless Dalit family and her parents work as rag pickers and sweepers occasionally in order to eke out their survival. The girl was sent by her mother to get water from the cooler at the crematorium. She was trapped there by criminals who gang raped her and then, with the help of the priest, forcibly cremated her so that their heinous crime could be hidden. On hearing of this, the parents of the girl went to the cremation ground with more than a hundred people of the village. The body of the girl was totally burnt and only her feet and ears could be retrieved. What is even more shocking is that the priest claimed that the girl was cremated with her mother’s consent. This is a white lie, because the delegation learnt that in that particular village, young girls are buried and not cremated. Further the priest warned the mother not to report the crime and instead propagate the lie that the girl got electrocuted.
The Delhi Police, which is run at the dictates of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, detained the parents of the girl and manhandled her father instead of arresting the accused. Throughout this sordid episode, the police also refused to register an FIR against the four accused, till the villagers put pressure on them to register an FIR. There are attempts to shield the culprits by the Delhi police, as is usually the case in incidents of violence against women. The latest media reports say that the doctors panel of Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital has said that it is difficult to ascertain whether the girl was ‘sexually assaulted’ or not. This cover-up is evident from the statements of local people who have alleged that the accused have been booked under sections that do not include POSCO, SC/ST Act and other serious crimes that have been committed by them. Now, due to public pressure and continuous protests, this investigation has been transferredto the Crime Branch.
The AIDWA denounces the role of the Delhi police in this whole episode and also condemns the deafening silence of the Union Home Minister. It condemns the false and insensitive statement of the BJP and Union I&B Minister that the heinous crime is being ‘politicised’ and that speedy justice has been provided to the victim’s family.
The AIDWA vows to fight for justice for the parents of the latest victim of the rising rape cases under the Modi government. Coming close on the heels of the Hathras and other rape cases, the AIDWA demands that the Union Government take responsibility for the increasing cases of rapes and violence against women. It demands that:
- A court monitored impartial investigation must be carried out in this case in a fast track court.
- The accused must be tried for rape, murder and also be booked under POSCO and the SC/ST Act.
- The role of Delhi Policemust be thoroughly investigated and the police officers be held accountable for their silent complicity.
- The Delhi government has announced a meagre Rs10 lakh compensation for the family. It should be substantially increased for their rehabilitation. In addition, the family of the victim must be given protection and provided free legal and other assistance in their fight for justice.