The Delhi Police on Wednesday morning evicted more than 70 Dalit families from Jantar Mantar. They had been camping there for two months to protest the gang-rape of four minor girls in Haryana’s Bhagana village on March 23.
The Dalit villagers said they were evicted around 5am without prior notice despite having sought permission for their protest.
“No person can protest at Jantar Mantar for more than a day and these people housed themselves here for over two months now,” said SBS Tyagi, additional commissioner of police (Central range).
Before their eviction, the protestors said men of higher castes frequently pick up Dalit women in their village when they go out to relieve themselves. None of the cases are reported.
“Upper caste people do not allow Dalit households in our village to have toilets and the women generally go to the fields to relieve themselves either before sunrise or after sunset,” said Jagdish Kadla, a member of the family of one of the victims.
The youngest of the four gang rape victims is 13 years old. She had her class five exam the day before she was raped allegedly by the family members of the village head. She and the other victims aged 15, 16 and 17 years were picked up from the field across their neighbourhood where they had gone to relieve themselves.
“Five men forced us inside a car, rolled up the windows and took turns to rape us,” said one of the victims.