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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

'Sexual violence against Dalits on rise in Haryana'

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 21, 2014
First Published: 20:47 IST(21/7/2014) | Last Updated: 10:56 IST(22/7/2014)

There has been steep rise in incidents of sexual violence against Dalit girls in Haryana, a report released on Monday in Chandigarh said.

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The report was prepared by Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), some survivors and kin of survivors. The report deals with the atrocities committed against the naive and innocent girls in the name of caste politics. It deals with their experiences and also suggests some demands to enable them to lead a dignified and meaningful life.

The study's findings showed the exponential rise in sex violence against Delit girls (2001 to 2011) from 33 to 150 cases per year and the sudden drop from 150 cases to just 15 in 2012. This was a very worrying fact as they explained that the state machinery which had been set up for their protection was siding against them and working overtime to shield the accused who often had political links.

The group said that the police try to dismiss such cases as trivial matters and at times even decline to file a FIR. However, caste related violence has a pattern if observed properly. And the legislative, judiciary and the police tend to look the wrong way as far as justice is concerned.

Only 2-3% of the reported cases get some justice they claimed, this is not even taking into the account the number of cases which go unreported.  The investigations carried out are flawed and people who sympathise with the plight of these poor young women are also targeted and threatened, said report.

Mary John, a feminist researcher, said that the state was to blame for neglecting the plight of these Dalit women and not taking adequate care of them before and after the incident happened. She said the Jats did this to assert their dominance over the lower castes.

Delhi-based Rajat Kalsan, an advocate, talked about his experience with dealing with these cases and how he himself was targeted and the various discrepancies that the governance brings up to save the accused. Taking one  example of Dabra village in 2012, eight Jat boys gang-raped a 15-year-old girl and also made a video to blackmail her. This video was later leaked, the father saw the video and committed suicide. Only four out the eight accused were framed with charges and the rest were left scot-free.

The survivor of the September 2012 Hisar rape case was also present there. She talked about her personal experience with the authorities and the neglect and humiliation she faced at their hands and other upper class people in her college. She has been rewarded a sum of `8 lakh by the government and she has turned into an activist now.

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