By Alam Bains:
A 14-year-old girls’ dead body was found hanging from a dupatta in the police station compound of Lakhimpur Kheri Village in Uttar Pradesh. The Girl’s parents, Tarannum and Intezam Ali, claim that their daughter was raped and murdered by the policemen after she went missing on Friday morning. The girl had taken the cattle for grazing and did not return. Her mother noticed injury marks on her body but the police insisted that it is a case of suicide and told them to “take the body and run away”. They were later offered money to keep quiet.
Eleven cops, including the Station Head Officer, were suspended and the body was sent for autopsy. The first autopsy report claimed that the cause of death was asphyxiation due to hanging. This triggered angry reactions from the people, activists and the media. Under pressure, Chief Minister Mayawati ordered a fresh autopsy which said that the teen died because of strangulation but did not confirm rape. Four policemen – Constable Ram Chandra Kumar, Sub-Inspector BK Singh, Constable Uma Shanker and Constable Shiv Kumar – have been arrested on charges of tampering of evidence. Lakhimpur Kheri’s Superindent of Police, DK Rai, has been transferred.
The three doctors who carried out the first autopsy have been suspended. Mayawati has ordered a CB-CID enquiry into the matter but the congress is demanding a CBI enquiry as they believe that this CB-CID probe is a cover up. The National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission For Women have issued notices to the U.P Government but Mayawati went on to say that “NHRC and NCW are trying to malign the state Govt. They are behaving like a political opposition. They are hand in glove with the opposition”
This incident is another in a series of barbaric acts carried out by the police. The Police is trying to cover up as much as they can. Women’s activist Madhu Kishwar said, “The biggest threat to the people of India is from the police of India… I think we have the most lawless and criminalized police system in the world”. What is one supposed to do when the people who are supposed to protect the citizens turn perpetrators?
As of publishing, 5 more rape cases have been committed in Uttar Pradesh.
Let’s make our voices heard and do our bit to support the girl’s parents in their fight for justice and ensure that the policemen involved are given stringent punishment which may act as a deterrent to these criminals in uniform.