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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Raped during riots, now threatened by the police

Harinder Baweja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 03, 2014
First Published: 00:36 IST(3/6/2014) | Last Updated: 00:47 IST(3/6/2014)

The gang rape and murder of two sisters in Badaun has come as a gruesome reminder for Shabana (name changed).

Nine months ago on September 8, Shabana was gangraped and left for dead in Muzaffarnagar’s Fugana village. She is one of seven women who was raped when communal tension gripped Muzaffarnagar. Then, Jat men from her own village had barged into her home and taken turns at raping her. Now, Shabana says she is being intimidated and pressured by the police.

Shabana, or petitioner No 4, as she is now referred to in court records has written a letter to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav requesting that the investigating officer (IO) be changed as Inspector Mala Yadav, the current IO has been pressurizing her to reach a compromise with the accused.

According to the letter — a copy of which is with HT — the IO told her that the five Jats, accused of raping her, will pay her more than the Rs. 5 lakh compensation ordered by the Supreme Court.

Yadav, when contacted by HT said, “She came forward to record her statement only after the court announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh. Why should I intimidate her? I am on the side of all victims.’’ Shabana’s complaint however alludes to the IO using communal language and quotes her as saying, “Muslim women are liars and are doing this to make money.”

On the record, UP’s cops have made little or no progress in chasing the accused. None of the 26 accused had been arrested till Supreme Court lawyer Vrinda Grover filed a writ petition in the apex court. Even after directions from the court, only two of the accused have been arrested.

Six of the seven rape victims have been provided security on the instructions of the SC but Shabana continues to be intimidated.

Like the others, Shabana mustered courage to file cases and name their Jat neighbours only after a few weeks. Even now, she fears for herself and her 10-year-old son, who she says has also been threatened by the IO.

She awaits a response to her complaint, copies of which have also been marked to the state DGP, the national commission for women and the NHRC.


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