Chhattisgarh minister defends cops in gang-rape case, CM suspends 7 of them
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday announced the suspension of seven policemen for their alleged inaction in a gang-rape case in state’s Balrampur district soon after home minister Tamardhwaj Sahu defended the police in the state assembly and said there was no laxity on their part.
Sahu is a member of Congress’s Central Working Committee. He was a front-runner for the chief minister’s post after Congress won the 2018 Chhattisgarh assembly elections and ended the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 15-year rule in the state.
Baghel announced the suspension of station house officer (SHO) Umesh Baghel, sub-inspectors Akhilesh Singh and K P Singh and constables Johan Toppo, Sudhir Singh, Ajay Prajapati, Sashi Tirki in the state assembly after Congress lawmaker Brihaspat Singh raised the issue of the 12-year-old girl’s rape.
Singh said the girl was returning home along with another girl when she was raped on February 19. “Two youths came on a motorcycle and tried to abduct both the girls. While one managed to escape, the other was abducted. They brought the minor girl to village Dahejwar where one more accused person was waiting. All three raped the minor and fled,” Singh said. He added the girl was in an “extremely bad shape”.
Singh alleged when the girl’s parents rushed to the local police station to register a case, the SHO asked them whether they saw their daughter being raped. “The SHO refused to register the complaint and did not provide any medical treatment. He also threatened the parents not to inform anyone about the incident.”
Sahu earlier said the case was registered on February 20 against the three accused under the relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. He added the three accused were arrested and an investigation was going on.
Soon after Sahu spoke, Bhupesh Baghel stood up and announced the suspension of the seven policemen.
“Police is working on the behest of some people in the state,” BJP spokesperson Gauri Shankar Shrivas said.