UP harassment: Dalit woman hangs herself in Muzaffarnagar, girls stop going to school in Saharanpur

The law and order situation has completely crumbled in Uttar Pradesh and the administration has utterly failed in controlling the rising incidence of atrocities against women

NH Photo by Aas Mohd Kaif
NH Photo by Aas Mohd Kaif

Aas Mohd Kaif

Two shocking incidents of sexual harassment of women have come to light in just one day in Uttar Pradesh. The first incident took place in Raipur village which comes under Phugana police station in Muzaffarnagar district. Sudesh, a 39-year-old Dalit woman, was first harassed and then forcibly pulled into a sugarcane field by some molesters. At that time, her 8-year-old son was also with her.

When the victim went to the police station with her husband to file a complaint, the police locked up her husband instead. Frustrated and feeling helpless, the woman hanged herself to death. In her suicide note, she clearly mentioned that since the police were siding with the accused, she did not have any hope of getting justice. And therefore, she was ending her life. After the tragic incident, Muzaffarnagar SSP Anant Deo Tiwari suspended the inspector of the police station.

The second incident took place in Lakhnauti village of Saharanpur district. Three sisters of this village decided to drop out of school after being constantly harassed by ruffians on the street. These girls studied in a school located in Gangoh which is 2 kilometres away from their village. Former chairman of the Gangoh area, Noman Masood, said, “This very government had formed the Anti-Romeo Squad and is now running the ‘Beti Bachao, Bet Padhao’ campaign, but unfortunately, we are now forced to save our daughters from them only.”

When the father of these girls went to the house of one of the accused to complain against his behaviour, the accused abused and threatened him. The local police officer in charge of the area, Sanjeev Kumar, has spoken about taking strict action against the accused.

People in Phugana are outraged after the Dalit woman committed suicide. Devichand, the husband of the deceased, told NH, “My wife kept crying and begging the policemen for help but they were not moved. Instead they started yelling at us and threatened us that they would lock us up in jail. My eight-year-old child was also quite frightened and intimidated. The police did not help us because we are just poor kiln workers.”

Devichand’s wife Sudesh was going to her village Raipur with her little son on Thursday when two persons, Pradeep and Subhash, forcibly took her to a nearby sugarcane field. She was thrashed when she protested and raised an alarm. When people started gathering, the two ran away. After this, the woman’s husband went to the police station to file a complaint but the police detained him instead. Not only this, the police had demanded a sum of ₹5,000 to let her husband go.

The woman then ran to kiln owner Haji Jamshed and brought ₹5000. She reached the police station at 9 PM. But the police still did not let him and his son go. Deeply anguished and frustrated over the entire matter, she finally decided to take her life. The irony is, when the news of her suicide reached the police station, the police immediately registered the case of harassment.

According to the SSP, Muzaffarnagar, the suicide note found mentions the local police and some others as accused and now the matter was being investigated.

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